Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Our Pen Pals
The children were excited to learn that they had new pen pals! A friend of a friend teaches 2nd grade at a charter school in California, and she was looking for a class to write letters to. Our letters were received last week, and I read each one aloud. My students were amazed at how much they had in common with some of the students in California (although there were a lot more skateboarders there!)
Today, we talked about the parts of a letter, and what would be some interesting things to say. Then we got busy writing our first drafts. After drafting, I had a conference with each individual child so that together we could make our letters practically perfect. The finished drafts were written on very special personalized stationery.
We still have some work to do before the whole packet of letters can be sent off, but we are hoping that this becomes a regular event. Pen pals are wonderful for children to have, as it gives them opportunities to learn about life in another part of the country. Children will find out that while kids are the same the country over, we are also unique because of where we go to school and where we live and play. For instance, it will be interesting to learn what things are fun to do in California in the winter. Do the kids there get to play in the snow, and build forts? We will see! Of course, it is also a great learning opportunity for writers - and lessons in spelling, grammar and punctuation are built right in.