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    mud dauber message
    By teachfla

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    I have a great way to introduce letter-writing skills. I write an immaginary letter from the mud daubers on construction paper (they are insects that build nests in our class, and the kids always freak out over them flying everywhere) telling the class to calm down when they are in the room, that they are just trying to learn about what Miss X (me) is teaching them, etc. Then I cut the letter into the five parts, like a puzzle. We all sit on the floor and I tell them about these pieces I found, we put it together, and I go over the parts of a letter. Then I glue the pieces onto a large piece of tagboard with the parts labeled to hang in the room for reference. I re-enforce the skills every day in my morning message to the class.

    The kids think it's silly, but cute. My favorite year was when we had a roach problem in our bathroom, and the roaches wrote a letter -- they were outraged that the kids kept bothering them in their home. One of my friends has a classroom cat, and she had the cat "type" a letter on the computer. The kids absolutely believed that the cat had typed a letter!

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