We opened our first letters from our pen pals yesterday! Letters were sitting in bins on my desk for a few weeks as we waited for them all to trickle in – when students saw “Opening Letters” on our agenda for the day there was a huge cheer in each class. Students addressed their envelopes, then opened their letters and got to work!
Students have been learning about the writing process, so we used reading/writing our letters to practice this. Students annotated their letters, highlighting all the information they found especially interesting and circled all the pen pals questions for them. The students moved their information into a graphic organizer and then began writing their reply letters.
We also made a Google Map with all our scientist pen pals locations. It’s awesome to see where letters are coming to us from all over the country and even globe!
The pen pal program also helps so very much with teaching students about STEM careers, a focus at our school. Students can’t just be told about the opportunities that are available to them they truly have to experience it and the Letters to a Pre-scientist program helps us do that!
We’ve just finished our Matter and Heat Unit and now we’re working on Physics – Newton’s laws, graphing motion, the works! If you’re interested in seeing what’s happening in our class daily follow along on Instargram at @msjorgenparker. Thank you, scientists, for writing so many amazing letters! Students were in awe and learned so much already!
(P.S. We need some more envelopes and stamps for our next letters, so if you can donate, please do! Just send to the school’s address! Thank you!)