Mrs. Harper's and Cindy Gains' kindergarten class has received over 150 pieces of mail for Valentine's Day! They set out to try to collect mail from all 50 states and nearly reached their goal- receiving mail from 46 states and countries including Austria, England, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Australia. Here is what Mrs. Harper had to say about the project:
"The kids were so excited to pick up the mail from the office each day. They helped open envelopes and locate states on the map. They especially loved receiving something from a new state and filling up our map. The ideas of city, state, country are typically difficult for kindergarten students to understand. This really helped them to visualize the relationship between the 50 states and how they all fit together in 1 country. (We read a story called Mailing May about a girl who mails herself to her grandmother on the postal train because her family can't afford a passenger train ticket. Students wrote about who they'd like to mail themselves to and what they would do when they arrived there. They put a tiny photograph of themselves in an envelope as a fun art project to go along with their writing. Our mail project made this writing activity even more fun!)
It was a great addition to our study about communication and the mailing process. We talked about how letters from nearby places traveled to us versus how letters from far away states and other countries might have traveled to us. Many people sent fun facts, pictures, momentos that were unique to their states. (Someone even sent enough surfboard keychains for every student in our class!) . We also received a lot of letters from people who had connections to Alliance - Alliance and Mount Union grads who now live in other locations, former Alliance teachers, people who lived in our school neighborhood or attended our school when they were kids, etc. The kids learned so much and were so engaged in this project.
It was also a great way to involve families. Parents were excited and shared with many of their family members. We received many cards from relatives of students. The kids loved opening letters to see if they mentioned any of their classmates. Several parents asked if they could visit our classroom to see our map and letters. We updated parents through SeeSaw (a school communication app) every few days about our progress. Other teachers were very involved, too. They helped us contact people in other states and checked on our progress often."
The Alliance Review even did a newspaper article on the project that can be read here: http://www.the-review.com/…/alliance-kindergarteners-receiv…
Thank you to all who sent mail and for all those who shared the original post on social media that got so much attention!