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Showcasing, Barb Crew and the "Post Card Project"


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"I teach kindergarten, and my goal with the postcard project was to introduce states, directions, oceans, and so on to my students. The children exceeded my expectations with the interest they showed and the amount of information they retained," Barb Crew told Education World.

After participating in a similar activity, Crew organized her own postcard project, which she has maintained for the last five years. Her students at LaSalle Catholic School in LaSalle, Illinois, exchange mail with other students from all over the nation and the world.

"Teachers sign up for the project and are provided with instructions for participation, such as the deadline for sending postcards, ideas about what to include in the messages (such as a description of their geographic area, classroom information), and ways to organize the project in their classrooms," said Crew. "Some teachers ask parents, the PTO, and/or their local chamber of commerce for assistance, either monetarily or by donating postcards and stamps. Postcards can be sent in the form of computer generated greetings, cards decorated by the children, or commercial cards."

Crew also provides suggestions about how to incorporate the project into different areas of the curriculum. Those include marking places of origin on a large map during social studies lessons, recording the number of postcards received during math class, and reading about states of interest during language arts.

The inclusion of e-mail addresses in Crew's teacher database has proven productive. "Now students have the opportunity to ask questions of any of the participants," she explained. "My children contacted a class that had experienced a hurricane in Florida. The children from Florida shared their stories. It was an eye-opener."

Each year, Crew's class is also "adopted" by a student's relative who travels extensively. One traveler, through cards, e-mail, and trinkets sent by snail mail, introduced students to the foods he ate and the climates he encountered on his business trips. He even introduced the kids to the reindeer of Lapland!
 

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If you're a teacher who has completed an interesting or unusual activity with your class -- or if you know of a teacher who has -- please let us know about it. E-mail a brief description of the activity, along with your contact information, to [email protected]


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Article by Cara Bafile
Education World®
Copyright © 2003 Education World
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09/22/2003