Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

EdMark's Talking Walls

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

EdMark's Talking Walls

Article excerpt

Talking Walls is a series of books presenting a thematic curricular study of walls throughout the world. A wall can conjure a number of images: barriers,

monuments, safety. By presenting both famous and obscure walls across the earth, Talking Walls provides materials for students and teachers to explore a wide range of social studies activities. These activities can be extended with forays into science, math, and art.

I used Talking Walls with sixth graders, but there are certainly applications from kindergarten through high school. The Talking Walls books are beautiful and vibrantly illustrated. The software provides in-depth looks at each wall, its history and culture. Younger students can use the CD as a talking picture book, while older students can delve into the accompanying material to learn more about world cultures.

There are walls from 30 countries in each book. The story illustrations are repeated in the software, as is the text. There is a great deal of additional expert information on the area and issue being discussed. Maps and geographic information make this a useful social studies tool.

Some of the walls are linked to famous people. Nelson Mandela's prison walls represent the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Murals by Diego Rivera portray the painful history of Mexico. The software provides further links to personages, making the CD a wonderful resource for biography studies.

Some poetry is utilized in the discussion of walls: Robert Frost's Mending Walls, E.B. White's Ballad of Artistic Integrity and Doug Rawling's The Wall. …

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