The Flying Carpet – intercultural encounters with Finnish and Icelandic students.


By implementing the The Flying Carpet in the program when the Icelandis student went to Finland, all the studenst got an opportunity to introduce their culture and interests in a fun and lively way within an encouraging environment.

The emphasis was not to only work with aspects of national culture or backgrounds, but also individual interests and those things that matter the most in each and every person’s life.

Each individual was a participant and a spectator at the same time. We devided the student into two groups A and B. First one group stayed with their presentation and the other students got to talk to everyone in the other group and then vice versa.

The goals were:

That student of both countries should feel proud of their own culture and share those feelings with others.

To evolve students ability to be active in the project and for them to realize the fact that different cultures can enrich their own.

Support a respectful communication and understanding.

Stimulate the students fantasy, curiosity and creativity.

To implement interaction between cultures and languages.

Awareness of the value of own culture by introducing it to others


The Flying Carpet – Intercultural Encounters is an Icelandic/Danish project with emphasis on intercultural competence –  see more about the project:


Beauty and Ugliness in Nature

blogi 2TOPIC

Exploring environment by combining art and science: Students have a walk in pairs around our school environment (school forest, schoolyard and ”Marathon park”) They take photos of beautiful and ugly things they happen to see while walking. They keep in mind a big question: How to make our school environment a better place? They are asked to discuss and argue with their pairs about the choices they make for a picture collage while walking and taking pictures.


  • To pay attention to different environments and humans’ impact on them.
  • To observe school environment.
  • To learn focusing and cropping by making picture notes with iPad.
  • To learn to combine a picture collage with iPad (Pic Collage)
  • To Air Drop.
  • To argue and discuss of your opinions with your pair.
  • To make a final statement for the big question by making a speech bubble and printing a picture collage.
  • Printed picture collages and speech bubbles are published as a statement wall on the corridor near our class.


  • iPad for each student
  • printer
  • paper for speech bubbles and picture collages
  • a speech bubble template


  • pairwork


  • outdoor activity (mind the weather because of iPads)
  • classroom work when printinf and combining a picture collage and a speech bubble


  • high
  • some technical support maybe needed from teacher


  • Learning how to use a picture collage as a part of learning science.
  • Pic Collage App
  • focusing
  • cropping


blogi 1.JPG

  • Feedback from teacher and assistant while working.
  • Reading others statements and picking up good arguments.
  • Peer review of conversation and activity level
  • Checking out goals.

Fixed and Growth Mindset

PosterGo to Thinglink for poster

Science: Grade 8
Learning goals: change your words – change your mindset, learning from mistakes
Learning skills: Collaboration, communication
Lesson time: 80 minutes

Students are devide into 6 groups (24 students, 4 students in a group). Their mission is to seek QR-codes with instructions about few small projects.

The projects are:

  1. Change sentence from fixed mindset to growth mindset.
  2. Find a failure or mistake that a famous person has made but have led to a success. Write down the name of the person and the story about her failure.
  3. Read an article provided by teacher. The article is about how young children are not afraid of making mistakes and learn from them but in their upbringing many children get the impression from their parents and/or teachers that making mistakes is wrong and how it affects their ability to learn new things. Students should write few sentences why children are afraid of making mistakes.
  4. Teachers also make mistakes. Ask a grownup for example your teacher about a mistake that he has made.
  5. Draw a picture of a person who often makes mistakes. Write down on the same paper the mistakes that she has done.
  6. Go beyond your comfort zone. Drag a card from your teacher. On the card there is a challenge that everybody in the group have to do.
    • Dancing Russian folk dance Hopak
    • Create and sing a rap song
    • Make a new chant for the Iceland national football team
    • Sing the national anthem
    • Yodeling
    • Improvise: create and perform (music, drama, or verse) spontaneously or without preparation.

In the end the products are pasted on a large poster that will later go up on a wall. This project was made into a game, so every group got a point for their effort. 1 point for finding a QR-code, 1-3 points for solving a project and 1 point for every person in the group who took the challenge in project 6.

Idea bank

Posted by Þóra Skúlad. Háteigsskóli Iceland

Breakout EDU

Science: Grade 10
Learning goals: Earth Science, Space Program
Learning skills: Critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication
Lesson time: 80 minutes (45 minutes + processing)

Breakout EDU kit

Breakout EDU is simuler to Escape rooms. In Breakout EDU, players work collaboratively to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. Breakout EDU games are designed for 8-15 players so in this class we use three kits with 24 students and students are divide into three smaller groups. There are clues posted or hidden in the room and students have to work together and follow these clues to unlock a box. There is a timer, 45 minutes, and they have to beat the clock.

At this website you will find access game resources for this lesson and facilitation tool where the timer is and two hint cards.

After 45 minutes there is processing of the lesson where students are asked reflection questions related to this project.

  1. What did you learn about the Apollo missions from this game?
  2. Would you want to go into space? Why or why not?
  3.  How do you think they used the technology they had back then to make it to the moon safely? Explain your thinking.
  4.  What was the hardest part of this Breakout game?
  5.  What is one thing you wish you had known going into this game?

Breakout EDU games transfer the ownership of learning from the instructor to the student, making it easy to observe how learners approach problem solving and apply their knowledge. In addition to the content knowledge needed to succeed in a specific game, all Breakout EDU games require critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. A Breakout EDU game provides learners with many opportunities to fail forward. Every unsuccessful attempt to open a lock forces the player to try again.

Breakout EDU is designed as an activity that “teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting students with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem solve” (James Sanders). It can be used to introduce a new lesson concept, to reinforce and strengthen learning, or at the end of a unit to bring closure to a lesson and reinforce skills and concepts learned, all in a fun way.

Posted by Þóra Skúlad. Háteigsskóli Iceland

How we made our game

The process of our game started on 27th of February.

We were informed that our class would take part in a project that would combine English and Geography. We were given a list of things we would have to do by a certain amount of times. In this list they gave us options of what we would like to do and one of the things we chose to do from the list was a game.

So first thing we did was brainstorming. We knew pretty quickly that we would want to do a game that consisted of cards that had questions and that the players would have to answer to those questions. After deciding on the type of the game we started by taking some colorful cardboards and measuring an optimal size for our game. After we had taken our measurements we started cutting the pieces into right size by using the measurements. After cutting around 15 pieces of cardboard we were satisfied and we moved on to the next step. Next we started writing down the questions that we wanted to ask. After those we cut fish siluets of black paper. And so we were done with our preparations.

After that we started to put our game together. We started by glueing the fish siluets to the blank pieces of colorful cardboard that we had previously cut. So now that we had attached our fish siluets and cardboards together we started to write down the questions with a white pen. And soon after that we were done and our game was ready to play. We haven’t had the chance to let somebody play it yet but we are hoping that people will like it.

Made by students from Armfelt School, Salo, Finland: Olivia Koskinen, Sylvia Hynninen and Anna-Sofia Raita



18 lessons

Lesson 1 – 2:  Introduction to students about the project, learning goals and instructional planning. Students will watch The Lion King.

Lesson 3 – 4:  Students will finish watching The Lion King. Students are divide into group of four. Every student will get an overview of the project. There is compulsory task that every group have to do and they have to make a portfolio with tasks. Students will begin their work on the portfolio.

Lesson 5 – 14

Every lesson is two joined lessons for 80 minutes (2×40). Students work on their portfolio. Every class starts were groups go over their project and evaluate where they stand in the project. What has been done and which projects are left. Teacher will look at the working schedule in every group and make changes if necessary. At the end of every lesson students must write in a journal (see Instructions about journal).

Lesson 15 – 18:

Final assessment of a project, assessment (see Instructions of assessment), presentation of a chosen species. Each group presents its work for a particular animal for their class. It is estimated that each presentation takes approximately 7 – 8 minutes. (All students take an exam based on the knowledge and understanding of students in connection with the project).

Learning Goal

  • Promoting students’ interest in their environment and understanding the importance of dealing with nature with respect and responsibility
  • Promoting student independence in working methods and their responsibility for their own learning
  • To give students the opportunity to organize their studies on their own and the importance of a good presentation of projects
  • That students can explain the relationship between producers, consumers and decomposer
  • That students can explain the difference between food chain and food web
  • That students understand photosynthesis and importance of photosynthesis for all life on the planet
  • That students can explain biogeochemical cycles and understand the importance of not disturbing the balance of nature

Compulsory Tasks


How is the portfolio organized.

Describe the topics discussed in the portfolio.


After each lesson, each student write a journal about:

  • What was the contribution from team members in the project today.
  • Date. Which members of the group are in today.
  • What did you and your team members do today?
  • How’s the project coming along?
  • Hows the partnership going?
  • What is going well?
  • What needs to be improved?
  • Homework? Who should do what before next lesson?
  • At the end the group has to write a report about contribution from every member of the group.

Discuss the following terms and put in the group portfolio

  • Ecosystem
  • Community
  • Organism strain
  • Create a discussion that shows the context and the relationship between producers, consumers and decomposers in the ecosystem
  • Create five food chains from the movie Lion King
  • Create food web from these five food chains
  • Discuss what happens in the ecosystem if there is a large increase or decrease in individual organisms

Each group chooses one animal from Lion King. Students obtain data from books and from the web. Each group prepares a presentation of the animal for the students in the class. Students can use PowerPoint, Keynote or some other media for their presentation. The presentation takes about 7-8 minutes. The slides should be at a minimum of 5 and 10 at the maximum. It is necessary that all students participate fully in the presentation.


  • Portfolio with compulsory tasks. Students should as far as possible also submit other personal-chosen assignments to the portfolio (60%).
  • Presentation of one animal (20%).
  • A journal of students work and work report (20%).
  • Optional: Test taken at the end of the project.


Every references that is used in the project are listed in alphabetical order.

Author (Year). Title. Publishing company, publishing place. Page.

Reading materials

  • Man and nature: 2nd and 3rd chapter (Maður og náttúra: 2. og 3.kafli).
  • Characteristics of organisms: Chapter 5 (Einkenni lífvera: 5. kafli).
  • In the school library there will be a small designated section of natural science books, where students can study the subject matter of the project, different species, etc.
  • Teachers will present a useful list of interesting websites and students are encouraged to find reading material independently.
  • Students are also encouraged to obtain data in more ways, for example. by collecting data from specialists on the subject.

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Posted by Þóra Skúlad. Háteigsskóli Iceland



Lesson with Nearpod

nearpod-mynd.jpgBiology Grade 9
Learning goals: circulatory system, heart, veins, blood types, blood transfusion.
Learning skills: information, media and technology skills
Lesson time: 80 minutes
Application: Nearpod lesson

Student’s will participate in a biology lesson about the circulatory system. Every student will have an iPad supplied by the teacher. Student’s will open an app called Nearpod and the teacher will provide them with a code in the beginning of the lesson. In this lesson students will work at their own pace. In the project, they will find PowerPoint presentations, Sway presentations, YouTube videos and articles which some of them must read. There are some quizzes and open ended question that they must answer from the reading materials. They also have to draw a heart and write on a padlet wall. In the end, they must answer a poll about this project. The articles are in English so they are difficult for some students and therefor optional for students with more ability.

About Nearpod

Nearpod is an interactive presentation and assessment where the teacher can create presentations that can contain Quiz’s, Polls, Videos, Images, Drawing-Boards, Web Content and so on. Student can use iPads, computers or any device that connects to the internet and access a teacher’s presentation through a code.

The teacher can control the pace of the session or every student can go at his own pace. Nearpod also have ‘Open Ended Questions’ feature. The ‘Open Ended’ answers are then automatically logged in the reports.

Nearpod can be used as a substitute for other presentation tools where the presentations will be beamed to each iPad in the classroom. You can ‘drag and drop’ PowerPoint slides that you have into the app for it to instantly create a Nearpod presentation. You can also use ready or create a Sway that you can use in the app.

The app enables the teacher to connect with students digitally. Nearpod can be used in many different creative and innovative ways. The app has a feature called ‘Draw It’. It’s an interactive whiteboard. The teacher’s iPad will display each and every student’s ‘drawings’ when they have finished and submitted them. The teacher can then ‘share’ individual whiteboards with the entire class. Hitting share will cause the chosen ‘drawing’ to appear on every iPad. Teachers can share good work and model good progressions.

The app also has a Collaborate Padlet Wall, Fill in the Blanks and Memory Test. You can also easily insert 3D images, Phet Simulation, Field Trips around the world, YouTube or BBC Videos or add your own video or sound to it.

Teachers can insert a ‘Quiz’ into Nearpod presentation. They can create customized quizzes that can be used as assessment tools. The teacher’s iPad is then faced with the ongoing progress of the class in an ‘easy to analyze’ table. This assessment data can be read on the fly, whilst the children are engaged in the test. Teachers can gain a good idea of their classes overall understanding within any given subject straight away.

When students have finished a quiz, Nearpod will automatically create a report. Nearpod contains the option of inserting a ‘Poll’. The teacher can have a self-assessment when student’s opinions are questioned.

Students can engage with the presentations in their own time. Teachers can provide a ‘Homework’ code to students and they can access a pre-made presentation at home.

Nearpod has a library of pre-made Nearpod Presentations. Teachers can share their resources on this platform. You can find interactive presentations on almost anything for almost every year group but they are all in English. In non-speaking English countries teachers, which teach English as a second language can use pre-made Nearpod Presentations. Other teachers can get a lot of ideas for their Nearpod lessons.

Posted by Þóra Skúlad. Háteigsskóli Iceland

Miðja máls og læsis (Center of language and literacy )

We visited the centre with our guests in Reykjavik in March 2018.

Center of language and literacy is á team of educational specialists on language and literacy. The team works with all preschools, compulsory schools and leisure centers in Reykjavík. It opened August 1. 2016.

Goal for the center is:

  • to strengthen teachers and staff working in schools and leisure centers with counseling, professional development, continuing education and support
  • to ensure access for all staff and teachers in school and leisure centers to professional development, counseling and support for professional work with language and literacy.

The center offers micro or larger courses for teachers, staff in schools and leisure centers in Reykjavík on language, literacy and teaching Icelandic as a second language and for parents on language development and literacy. Offers consulting with language and literacy projects in schools and school districts within the city. Provides consulting and coaching for teachers and school leaders and holds workshops on any aspects of language development or literacy.

Requests from schools and leisure centers sins the center opened have been:

  • Language and reading programs in schools and leisure activities
  • Language development and literacy in preschools
  • Literacy and reading instruction at the primary school level
  • Consulting on training in reading, reading comprehension and reading difficulties
  • Consulting on teaching children with Icelandic as a second language
  • Training for teachers on Language and Literacy
  • To empower teachers to work with language and literacy among children of all ages
  • Training for staff in kindergartens and primary schools and leisure centers on language and literacy
  • Education on language and literacy that is regularly available to new employees
  • Workshops and courses
  • Education for parents
  • Work with students with Icelandic as a second language

Last fall language facilitator started working for the center. They provide assistance and advice for children and families with second language with the purpose of supporting their mother tongue. They act as a bridge within the school by helping establish a connection between the child, the family and the school.

Examples of guidance and workshops Language and cultural mediators provide for schools:

  • Importance of mother tongue and language development of bilingual pupils.
  • About Icelandic as a second language
  • Role of schools
  • Rights and obligations of school parents
  • Examples of guidance/advice for teachers and school staff:
  • Cross-cultural workshops about cultures and languages in the Philippines and Poland
  • Educational counselling
  • Assistance and guidance for pupils
  • Those who have yet to be proficient in Icelandic
  • About their mother tongue
  • Act as a bridge between the languages and cultures

Examples of suport for teachers and staf:

  • Guidance and workshops for the staff at After School and Leisure Centres of the city on cultures and languages
  • Support the staff in communicating with children and parents
  • Support on mother tongue during after school hours

Examples of guidance and advice for parents with a foreign background:

  • how to register the child in preschools, compulsory schools and after school programmes
  • what to do when the children have to change schools
  • the use of Leisure Cards and other discounts
  • language and literacy development of bilingual children
  • rights and obligation of school parents
  • home-school communication and collaboration
  • advice on furhter assistance

Posted by Ragnheiður Valgerður







A project on seas at Armfelt school


One of the main topics of our Nordic Go! –project are the seas. We decided to do a sea project by using badges.


Oceans, seas and the Baltic sea


Goals of transversal competence or 21st century skills:

  • thinking and learning to learn
  • ICT competence
  • participation and influence
  • thinking of sustainable future

Goals of Geography and English:

  • to learn basic vocabulary on seas (the oceans, others seas, the Baltic sea)
  • to learn about the seas, the animals and the pollution of the seas
  • to develop English skills and improve communication in English
  • team work is a essential part of the project

Activity / Method

The pupils had different kind of tasks both in Finnish and English and the most badges had two different ”levels” or badges to achieve: a task on a basic level and another one that was on advanced/detailed level or the task was supposed to do in English. The original plan was to spend altogether eight lessons for the project, but some extra lessons were needed.

The tasks/badges were: Oceans and seas and the Baltic sea (both in Finnish and English); Presentation on any sea related topic; morning assebly as a video or via school’s tannoy; a video on any topic related to seas; blog; creating a bord game related to seas.

Pupils were supposed to do different kinds of tasks and ”collect badges” in other words get a stamp on their task papers.


  • study books
  • work sheets
  • paper, glue, crayons… Anything needed in creating a board game.
  • computers and phones for searching information

Learning environment:

  • classroom

Use of ICT, apps, websites

  • different kinds of websites for searching information
  • Power Point
  • Sway


Pupils get points depending on how many badges they have and on what level they have done them. E.g. a task done in English is (in most cases) more worth than a task done in Finnish. Based on the points they get it is possible to give a grade to each pupil. Also the ability to work in group and the overall achievement can be evaluated.

Students’ activity level:


New ideas / thoughts on this project:

It’s a great idea to do a project on specific area in co-operation of two subjects and two-three teachers. Especially the self-made board games seemed to motivate pupils.

Posted by Elisa Uotila, Armfelt school, Finland.

The Flying Carpet – intercultural encounters (menningarmot) in Háteigsskóli, March 2018.

By implementing the The Flying Carpet in the teaching students, parents and staff members get an opportunity to introduce their culture and interests in a fun and lively way within an encouraging environment.

The emphasis is to not only work with aspects of national culture or backgrounds, but also individual interests and those things that matter the most in each and every person’s life.

The project should promote mutual respect and understanding between people in a concrete way and through different means of expressions. Everyone involved is received with acknowledgement, and through the cultural interaction that takes place the goal is to help developing life-skills that foster the view that diversity makes us richer, rather than seeing it as a cause for conflict.

Each individual is a participant and a spectator at the same time.

menningarmot 2018 1

Students in Háteigsskóli.


The Flying Carpet should create:

Frames in which different cultures meet in mutual respect and understanding through different means of expression; interaction between all cultures and all languages. This includes the world languages, both spoken and non-verbal ones.

Enthusiasm and understanding of differences and similarities in our cultures.

A frame in which individual children can preserve their cultural identity when coming into contact with a new society.

Awareness of the value of own culture by introducing it to others.

The goals are also:

That people of all origin should feel proud of their own culture and share those feelings with others.

To evolve children’s ability to be active members in society and for them to realize the fact that different cultures can enrich their own.

Support a respectful integration.

Stimulate the children’s fantasy, curiosity and creativity.

During the development of The Flying Carpet project an effort is made to make everybody involved feel an ownership to the project, children as well as adults. The experience is that through this project parents participate during the process and teachers often meet new faces among the parents at the gathering itself.

Kristín R. Vilhjálmsdóttir, intercultural project manager at Reykjavik City Library and educator, created The Flying Carpet after many years of experience as a teacher in Denmark and brought it to Iceland at the beginning of 2008. An introduction to the intercultural encounters project can be booked and if requested the project manager is ready to guide and take part in the preparation of the project. Workplaces can also book intercultural encounters – everyone can take part.


2010 and 2015: Nominated to the society price of “Fréttablaðið”, an Icelandic news paper, in the category “actions against prejudice”.

2017: The Icelandic contribution to The Nordic Language Festival in Aarhus.

2017: The Flying Carpet received The European Language Label.

More information: or Ragnheiður Valgerður

Posted by Ragnheiður Valgerður