Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Fun: Maps, Mail and Meaningful Writing

The hub of our summer activities is an area that I call the Summer Learning Station.  It has our daily schedule, packets of individual activities (more on that later), and a giant wall map.  The map is part of an ongoing project for the summer - our Postcard Project.

For over 20 years, I have kept the postcards that people sent me from around the world.  It started when I was a teenager and just couldn't bring myself to throw them away.  Then, I became a teacher and laminated the cards for use in my classroom.  Now, I am a mom and I have "owned" these cards to my angel.  It is a cherished collection now which is happily taken down, admired, and regularly added to.

However, this summer, I decided to step things up a notch.  We hung a large world map at the center of our Summer Learning Station and placed stars on the map to indicate the origin of each postcard.  Then, I sent out a message (more like a plea) for postcards from friends.  We asked anyone who was willing to send us a postcard this summer. And, for those who are interested, we will send one back.

People are excited and postcards are trickling in.  We mark old postcards with stars and place tacks on the map to indicate new ones.  Each card gets a response and then hangs on a clothesline above the map.  This project has become more fun than I imagined. We've toured the post office, written letters, addressed mail, mapped locations, counted responses and created lots of memorable, meaningful summer fun.

What kinds of meaningful writing activities are you doing this summer?  How are you incorporating a little geography into your days?  Share you summer fun ideas and help keep us all motivated as the fun heats up!

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