for another year of her wonderful Holiday Card Exchange. Each year, Jen spends countless hours collecting and organizing classroom data from ALL over North America (and beyond I believe!) to create groups of classrooms who design, make, and send holiday cards to each of the other classrooms on their list--and one to a children's or veteran's organization as well. This year's theme: snowglobes! The learning that happens throughout this unit is so inspiring...the students have an "audience" to create for, we have a real-world opportunity to pull down the map and talk about geography, we review how to address an envelope, and then sit back and wait for our cards to arrive--and more lessons to teach as they do!
We hang a large map above our lockers and "pin" each location as the card arrives. We read each card as a class (including the data sheet each classroom sends along), pass the cards around, and then hang them up around our map attached to their pin with a string. "So THAT'S where North Carolina is?" "How far away does our farthest card have to go?" "How does the post office know where to take these?" ...all comments overheard yesterday while the students created their cards. Each day the students anxiously await the arrival of the mail to see what surprises come our way. If you haven't visited Jen's site--I can't recommend it enough. She runs a variety of interactive projects throughout the year for all grade levels--my class has participated in a number of different ones and they are all superbly orchestrated. Take a look--and put some of her projects on your "to do" list!
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