“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat…”
Spring, summer, and fall easily lend themselves to fun, season-inspired projects, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas right behind. But what about those dreaded months between New Years and the beginning of spring? Weather conditions generally do not permit outside excursions so the only platform available for activities is restricted to the classroom and other approved parts of the school building. If you find yourself in this situation, introducing a unit of study focused on the Postal Service can offer versatility and fun.
Your kindergartners might know that grandma, who lives in Florida, sends a birthday card every year, but they might not understand how it gets there. Your seventh graders understand the significance of house numbers, street names, and zip codes, but may not grasp how important the Postal Service is to our economy. Lessons, activities, and crafts can be tailored to age and skill levels. Younger children will enjoy making and decorating their own mailboxes. Allison McDonald offers a great guide for this craft using ordinary materials found around the house. In preparation for the craft, children can collect these supplies and bring them to class. By passing out blank envelopes or postcards with names of classmates, children can practice name recognition and ‘delivering’ packages to the correct mailbox. A fun variation is to partner with other teachers on the floor and send special messages to each other throughout the week.
Supplement these fun activities with appropriate reading. Allison McDonald suggests A Snowy Surprise written by Amy Hest. Other books and resources include: About the Post Office (Out & About) by Sue Barraclough, Caillou Sends A Letter by Joceline Sanschagrin, and Owney, the mail-pouch pooch by Mona Kerby.
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