Cards and Letters
The parts of a picture postcard include a picture on the front and a description of the picture on the back, along with a place for your message on the left and the address on the right. People often like to send greetings from their vacations by way of postcards.
COLLECTION: | Some students might be interested in collecting used (cancelled) postcards from various parts of the state or country. As with stamp collecting, they may want to collect according to a theme.
CREATE: | Give students a 3X5 index card as a postcard template. Think of the interesting features of your community. Does it have important or beautiful buildings? Parks? Historical sites? Have students create their own picture postcard using colored pencils or crayons. Divide the space on the blank side in half and write a message to a friend or relative on the left side. Add your name and address on the right side, put on a stamp, and mail your card.
The earliest known letter was a clay tablet in Babylonia 4,000 years ago!
THANK-YOU LETTERS: | After teaching the correct format for friendly letters, have each student write a letter of thanks to someone in the school. Appoint classroom postal carriers to deliver the letters.
PEN PALS: | Capitalizing on childrens love of receiving mail, this project involves two classes writing and exchanging letters. First, find a teaching colleague at the same grade level in another school who is willing to share in the project. Then teach your students the correct format for writing friendly letters. You will find that students voices come through very clearly in letter writing, especially in letters written over time and to an authentic audience.
Assign a topic for each exchange:
- a description of me and what I like
- my school and our school day
- my favorite books and why I like them
- games I like
- jobs I do at home
- my community (if the pen pals live in another community)
- my favorite subject at school
Understanding alternative perspectives and frames of reference is an important part of this project. Students might also enjoy creating and exchanging class artifact boxes containing items that tell about their school and community.