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Home : 2004 : Aug : 24

    The Great Mail Race
    By Heather

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    "The Great Mail Race" offers a chance for students to connect with classrooms in all 50 states. There is no specific website for it (I got my information from the letter I received), but a search of "The Great Mail Race" will yield info from a lot of different teachers who have participated.
    Basically, your students write down some general information about themselves (first name, school name, # of students in class/school, favorite book/food/TV show, etc.)--teachers may generate a form which children will use as a guide to create their letters. Each child may write to 1, 2, or 3 states, depending on their ability and the # of children in your class. When addressing the envelopes, simply write "Second Grade Class" (or another grade level), then a city (I used an atlas to choose populated areas, not necessarily capitals) and a state (I wrote the names of the states on slips of paper, and the children chose randomly). At the bottom of the envelope, write "Postmaster: Please deliver to an Elementary School". Here is a condensed version of what I wrote above:

    Second Grade Class
    Anytown, Anystate 01234

    Postmaster: Please deliver to an Elementary School

    Once the letters have been sent out, a map may be used in the classroom to keep track of where students sent their letters and where responses were sent from. The children may also do some research about the states that they wrote to. We did this at the end of last year, and there was a big time constraint because the children do take a while to compose their letters, and then they need to be mailed out, and then you wait for responses. I think that I will try it this year as a beginning of the year "getting to know you" type of activity so that we will have more time to (hopefully) track responses. If you are interested in the forms that I have, I will share them with you (you may make any changes that you wish).

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