Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Writing.
- empty half gallon milk cartons
- brown butcher paper
- chart paper and marker
- glue and tape
- construction and drawing paper
- paint and paintbrushes
- pencils, paper old envelopes
- rubber stamps, stamp pad, labels
Objective: Children will create a message center that will help them understand how writing is used to convey thoughts and information.
In Advance: Send a note home to families to let parents know about the message center the children will be creating. Request donations of half gallon milk cartons, old envelopes, and recycled paper (so children can write letters on the back).
1 Engage children in a discussion about the different purposes of writing and record their answers on chart paper Then explain to children that they will use milk cartons to create a message center. Show them some examples of mailing envelopes and ask them to look at the information that is on each envelope. What do they notice? Why do the envelopes have stamps on them? Where are the stamps on each envelope?
2 Provide children with the clean cartons and glue. Ask them to glue the cartons together in a stack four to five high. Then assist children in gluing all of the stacks side by side to create one unit: Cover the cartons with brown paper and give children smocks, paint, and brushes to decorate their mail center.
3 Cut out small pieces of paper to use as name labels that will fit into each carton. Ask children to write their names on the pieces of paper and glue them onto individual cartons. These will be their personal message boxes.
4 Set up the message center in an accessible area of the classroom and then set up a writing center that will encourage children to write messages and letters to classroom friends. Put pencils and pens in small containers for children to use. Place small sheets of paper in a tray along with recycled envelopes. Rubber stamps, stickers, or labels can be used to create stamps or mailing labels.
Language Development: Interview the Mail Carrier. Invite the person who delivers your mail to visit the classroom. Assist children in developing questions and record the questionand-answer session. Photograph the visit and create a wall display to document the experience. Follow this activity with a class trip to the local post office to learn more about the postal system.