My mixed class of 1st and 2nd graders simply love this activity! In the beginning of the year I collect all sorts of cards for this writing activity. We write travel postcards, invitations, get well cards, new adress/moving away cards, birthday/celebration cards….you name it!
Together as a group, we either decide to use a student story as our inspiration or we use the “mail bag”. The Mail Bag has three boxes, where two of them contains pictures of people (ex. grandmother, newly weds, boy with broken arm, family with baby) and one that has pictures of different items (ex. bicycle, house, fish, flag). Students then draw a card from each of the boxes, representing who the cards is for, the sender of the card and the main message (ex. grandmother, fish, boy with broken arm = postcard to grandmother from a boy that broke his arm on his first fishing trip). The children love to come up with ideas of what might be the occation to writing the card. We also then decide what type of card we are writing.
I would love to have a smartboard in my classroom for this activity, but for now we use the big whiteboard. We talk and learn about date format, first/middle/last names, adresses, zip codes, different types of greetings, as well as grammar. It`s an activity we use all year round. At times we go hunting for our focus letters/sounds or sight words or students draw the front of the postcard if we dont have one that already match the message in our card.
After writing the card together, I type it up on the computer (making sure to use different fonts) and glue it on the back of a postcard and laminate it. It now goes in our postcard reading basket! As many of my students can`t read when they start school this is a great way to practice. The text is short and they have been a part of creating it so it`s motivating and not to challenging. I also asks students to send cards to the class whenever they go somewhere or give an extra birthday invitation, and those cards are also laminated and put in our basket. This way the postcard collection is growing every year:) I can`t wait to come back to school and collect all the cards (hopefully..:)!) that are sent to us during summer holiday:)!
Feel free to email me if you would like the word template i made for typing the postcards!