Social Studies Grade 1, Cluster2
Learning About My Province and Country
My class received postcards from across Canada almost every week throughout the past school year and learned so much about our fabulous country!
I registered my class for the Canadian Postcard Exchange project in August at: Pro Teacher. The organizer, Betty Welch, a teacher from Sylvan Lake, Alberta organizes the entire project and works hard to ensure that at least one school from each province and territory isinvolved. She sent a schedule for when each class was to send their postcards. I prepared a bulletin board with a Canada map in the centre and an outline of a bar graph with provinces and territories as categories. I also created a black line master for recording interesting facts about each community that sends us a postcard. These were placed in a binder.
I asked students if they have ever seen/received a postcard and showed them samples of postcards. We brainstormed for ideas to write about to tell people about facts and special things about our school and community. Next, we decided on a picture idea and created a postcard using Microsoft Publisher. Once our postcards were completed, we took a mini-fieldtrip to the tiny post office in Newton to mail them.
As the postcards arrived: I read them to my class and had students relate several interesting facts from the postcard; recorded them to BLM. I also had them note the symbol on the postage stamp. We used Google maps (on our SMARTboard) to look up the communities they come from and graphed what province or territory the postcards are from. Students located the community on the BB Canada map and stapled postcard to BB and drew lines from the postcard to the location on the map. After the first few weeks of reading postcards as soon as they arrived, we designated Friday as “Postcard” reading day.
At the end of the year, we took down the postcards. I suggest allowing time for students to enjoy and reminisce. We created a concrete postcard graph on our Learning Carpet and checked if the data on this graph matched that of the bar graph. In addition, we compiled a scrapbook which includes all the postcards in the interesting facts BLMs. This proved to be rather time-consuming, so I suggest numbering the postcards as you post them on the BB which would make the year-end scrapbook project easier.