Learning Circles

Join Learning Circles – our highly interactive, project-based partnerships among schools throughout the world. Learning Circles is a virtual, collaborative, project-based methodology for placing students and teachers into international teams or “Circles” to develop global projects around a shared theme. An experienced facilitator leads each Learning Circle in order to carefully guide each class through the various tasks and phases.

Learning Circles interaction is structured through six phases and each Circle culminates in the creation of a collaborative final project/publication. Each classroom team is responsible for editing and publishing their project for the group publication.

Each Learning Circle is composed of a group of 6-8 classes who work together during an entire session. At the beginning of each session, new Circles from new locations are formed, with 4-7 countries represented in each Circle.

We offer Learning Circle projects for:
Elementary (grades K – 5; ages 5 – 10)
Middle (grades 6 – 8; ages 11 – 14)
High school (grades 9 – 12 or higher; ages 15 – 18 or higher)

iEARN Learning Circles: Orientation and Registration

To join iEARN Learning Circles, you must first register as a member, then search for “Global Learning Circles: Orientation and Collaboration.” Please note you must complete a placement form at least two weeks before the beginning of the session. Once you complete the placement form you will be placed in a Circle for the next session. 

Not a member yet? Become one today!

Learning Circles Themes

The iEARN Learning Circle is a developmental framework intended to support teachers and students to develop and practice the global competencies:

  • Connect with and become part of a global community
  • Develop and use communication skills to connect with diverse audiences
  • Develop openness and respect towards people from other cultures and perspectives
  • Take collaborative action to make meaningful contributions to their local and global communties (Hello World does not include this element).

Hello World!

Returning this year are our popular five-week long Learning Circles for beginners at the Elementary, Middle and High School levels. Hello World: Learning Circles are for teachers and students who have never participated in an iEARN project or a Learning Circle. This five-week experience will introduce teachers and students to the basics of Learning Circles, including teacher introductions, culture sharing, and an information exchange. If you have never participated in an iEARN project or a Learning Circle before and you would like to know what it is like, this is the place to begin your iEARN experience.

Places & Perspectives

The Places and Perspectives theme encourages students to explore regional history, culture, government, and geography by sharing their knowledge with people from different locations. The goal is to help students understand how historical events and geographic conditions interact to help shape their lives and gives them a deeper understanding of themselves, their families, and their communities. Each classroom sponsors a project for a section in the Places and Perspectives Review. For instance, a classroom might sponsor a section on local legends, interview native inhabitants, investigate unique landforms, describe historical attractions of the area, examine local constitutions, compare weather patterns, or engage in map studies.


Computer Chronicles

This theme promotes non-fictional writing across the curriculum. Interaction online revolves around producing a newspaper-like publication called The Computer Chronicles. Each class has the opportunity to sponsor one or more sections of the newspaper as their Learning Circle project. Classrooms solicit articles from their partner classes and edit them to create one section of the newspaper. This section is combined with the other sections sponsored by circle partners to form the completed Circle publication.

Global Issues: Environment & Education

The Global Issues theme allows students to discuss the many issues and challenges faced by the world today. Projects focus on identifying and developing solutions for the countless issues people of the world face on a local, national, and global scale. Popular topics and issues are environment, education, immigration, safety, bullying, housing, pollution, government, and hunger. Students are also encouraged to propose new and emerging issues that they would like to explore, research, and discuss. Furthermore, participants can investigate specific topics by looking at problems, solutions, action plans, and prevention. This curriculum may encompass traditional educational subject areas as well as cross-curriculum areas of interest.

My School

This 10-week Learning Circle for elementary school students (Grades K – 5) allows students to share and celebrate information about their classroom and their school. Participants may choose to write stories, take photographs, prepare multimedia presentations, create videos, or use other media formats to share and highlight information about their school. Each participating class will share cultural information and create a presentation.

My Hero: First Steps

My Hero Learning Circles, a collaboration between the iEARN Learning Circles and The My Hero Project (www.myhero.com), brings together students and teachers who are interested in collaborating with other schools from diverse areas of the world on the topic of heroism. Each of the MY HERO Learning Circles is open to all grade levels.

Teacher-Sponsored Themes

Teachers are invited to sponsor and facilitate a theme for a special Learning Circle. If you have a project idea or suggestion contact us to develop a plan to advertise and gather support for your project. In order to develop a special Circle theme it is best to start the process at least two months before the beginning of the Learning Circles sessions. It is also best to have a facilitator and some classes that may already be interested in the theme.