I promised an update regarding last month’s endeavor, and am happy to report that it was a success. My kindergarten class has spent the last three weeks writing letters to the greater community, friends, and family. What a wonderful experience.
In response to our preschool information night for families, we invited Kindergartners to write to friends in our two preschool classes, sharing with them pertinent information about our grade level. Kindergartners shared their ideas about the joys of kindergartner, and the things to which preschoolers could look forward.
They also spent about a week and a half writing letters to friends and family at home and abroad. These were their “newsie” letters. They shared details about experiences they’d had, things that we’ve been doing in class, our National Day celebrations (Rubber Ducky Day on January 13th was a hit), well wishes, hopes, “I love” and “I miss” yous.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve had to include some letters of apology as well. No worries, this venue was a perfect way to engage kindergartners in ownership and self-reflection.
This week, we are working on a selection of postcards and greeting cards. Many students are preparing for Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day to follow.
This writing unit has been a wonderful learning experience for my students. It has fostered friendships as students have shared their love and appreciation for each other, their wishes and hopes. It has fostered a measure of self-awareness, and connection, as students have advocated for themselves, checked in with each other, shared useful information, and received feedback. This unit has also been a wonderful literacy experience. Kindergartners have mastered letter-writing techniques. They are using their phonics skills and sight words, they are thinking, organizing and being purposeful in their intent. Most importantly, their addressees know they care.
For me, I am truly impressed and proud of the caliber of work that has come out of this unit. Kindergartners were asked to employ, combine and evidence many skills throughout this unit and they have risen to the challenge. Although… it looks like I may have overdone it.
Until Next Time Readers,
P.S. Here is a list of the books we used during this unit. The Jolly Postman and Other People’s Letters by Janet & Allan Ahlberg, Please Write Back by Jennifer Morris, Dear Annie by Judith Caseley, Dear Girl & Dear Boy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Dear Juno by Soyung Pak, Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Dear Dragon by Josh Funk, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Koffman Orloff, The Thank you Letter by Jane Cabrera