In this article are several activities that will familiarize your children with the post office system. There are instructions that can help you set up a mock postal system within your classroom. Your students will be surprised to learn how fun it is to mail a letter!
The Post Office
Our postal service is a very large group, or organization, and, without it, our entire country might come to a standstill. We all depend very heavily on the postal service. Without the postal service, many businesses, organizations, our government, and our homes would surely suffer.
Our postal service ensures that more than one million homes and businesses have their mail delivered on time. Ingeniously, it has been set up so that there are local post offices in almost every single community for our convenience. There are actually more than thirty thousand post offices throughout our country.
The local post office in your community is your connection to this immense postal service, capable of delivering hundreds of millions of pieces of mail yearly. Very few people have not taken advantage of this service in one way or another. There are very few who have not mailed at least one letter in their lifetime.
Teaching your class how it all works may be advantageous to them when it comes to their future and education overall. Have fun while providing them with the knowledge of what it takes to run what we all know as the Post Office.
The book titled The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allen Ahlberg is a suggested read that will explain to your students the way the post office works. This book is good for very young children in that they will find it very exciting to learn how to mail a letter. This book is a unique tale of how the mail carrier delivers mail to all of the fairytale characters and how they interact.
You can also read the book titled The Post Office Book: The Mail and How It Moves by Gail Gibbons. This book will introduce to the students the inner workings of the postal service. This book will go into slightly more detail than the first title, but both books make a great combination.
These books will help you bring the postal service to your classroom and make the postal service the topic for the students' educational exploration. You can help them actually mail their very first letter and watch, as they are amazed, when they are recipients of a letter as well.
Activities & Assessment
Discussion - Once you have read either or both books to the children, you should have them sit for circle talk. Ask the children about the job of the mail carrier. Ask the children what a stamp is. Ask the children if any of them know how to address a letter. Ask the children what a mailbox is. It would be a good thing to have visuals while discussing these concepts in photographs or actual stamps and envelopes to show them.
Addressing Letters - Materials: Box of envelopes, construction paper, mid-sized stickers, and crayons or markers. Instructions: Have all the children draw pictures or write letters in their own way. Help them fold their artwork small enough so that the letters can fit into the envelopes. Help the students address their letters and seal them. Help the children place their favorite sticker on the upper right hand corner of their letter as a pretend stamp.
Mailbox - Purchase a plastic mailbox from the local hardware store. Place it on a surface that the children can reach so that they can put their letters into it for delivery. Optional: Create letters to deliver to the children so that they can experience being a recipient of a letter meant for each of them. After the children address their letters, help them place their letters in the mailbox.
Post Office - Materials: You will need to have a sticker badge as a nametag, stuffed envelopes, stickers, ink stamp, and boxes or packages. Instructions: Designate one or two children to become postal workers. Allow those children to wear badges with their names on it. Give those children an ink stamp. Allow the other children to use stickers to address their packages and letters. Have them all stand in line while they hand their packages and letters to the postal worker who will stamp them. Collect all of the letters and packages. Then, you can run through the mock post office once more using a different postal worker.
Oral Assessment - Now that your class knows how to address and mail a letter, you can discuss the postal service a little more with them. Ask the children who is it that will pick up a letter that they are sending. Ask the children if they will be able to mail their letters without a stamp. Ask them if they need to use a mailbox to mail a letter. Ask them where they will need to look for mail when someone sends them a letter.
Overall, this preschool lesson plan on the post office is educational in a fun way. Teaching the students about the postal service may become the foundation for their careers and life for them in the future.
Mitchell, Debra. "Postal News". United States Postal Service. August 6, 2009 <http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/localnews/fl/2009/fl_2009_0128.htm>.