Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Social Studies

Far Away Friends

Using Book Creator, engage students in a collaborative project to learn about each other’s community.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will create a book to share about their community, such as people’s homes, local stores and restaurants, and the natural environment
  • Through this activity, students will explore other communities and reflect on similarities and differences between how people live

This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: relationship skills, self-awareness, and social awareness.


Engage students in a discussion about their community by asking the following questions: 

  • What words would you use to describe our city, town, or region?
  • When you walk around our community, what do you notice? (e.g., homes, stores, animals, transportation, etc.) 
  • Imagine we had someone visiting our community. What would we want to show them? What are some beautiful, unique parts of our community, and the people who live here? 
  • What activities might this visitor enjoy? (e.g., exploring our natural environment, trying our favorite foods, or attending a local festival or sports game) 

Introduce the project to students: creating a book to share about your community! Share this example to spark their imagination, which was a collaboration between students in the US and Iceland. Similarly, your students will work with their partner class to create a book featuring both communities. 


Coordinate with your partner educator to work on the book together! To create the book, follow these instructions: 

  1. Sign up for a free Book Creator account (if you don’t have one already).
  2. Navigate to your Teacher Dashboard and add a new library for your class.
  3. Share the invite code so both classes can join the library.
  4. Create a blank book and start adding pages. Make it rich with multimedia!
  5. You can either turn on collaboration so you both work on the same book, or work on separate books and then combine them. Try to mirror each other’s pages – for example, if one class shares about homes in their community, then the other class should add photos of homes in their community as well.  

Share ideas with students around community features they might include, such as: 

  • Homes 
  • Stores 
  • Restaurants / foods
  • Streets 
  • Natural environment (animals, plants, geographic features, etc.)
  • Pets  
  • Transportation 
  • Parks / playgrounds 
  • Sports
  • Schools
  • Landmarks

After both classes have contributed to the book, consider facilitating a live virtual exchange and reading the book aloud together. Then, encourage students to ask questions to learn more about each other! Make sure to send a copy of your book to the Empatico team as well! 

After the activity, engage students in a reflection by asking the following questions: 

  • How are our communities similar to each other? How are they different? 
  • What is something that you found interesting about our partner class’s community?
  • How did this activity help you see the world from our partner class’s eyes? (perspective taking)
Did you finish this activity? We'd love your input.