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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "school"

We’re always in awe of teachers and their innovative ideas for class projects involving Postcrossing. Sometime ago, we told you about this game of bingo from a Taiwanese school, and now Charlene (aka clbrown) from the USA wrote in to let us know of a project she’s been doing with her class, connecting their lives to Mozart… via postcards!

I know it sounds a bit strange, but it works! Charlene is an elementary school teacher in Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. This summer, their camp theme was “Making Connections” — and what better way to connect Mozart to students than through postcards? The assignment was to select postcards that represent the student, represent Mozart, and cards that have something in common for both the student and Mozart. Charlene gave them all an example, plenty of her own postcards, and let them do their research. Here are some photos of the result:

Connecting to Mozart with postcardsConnecting to Mozart with postcardsConnecting to Mozart with postcardsConnecting to Mozart with postcardsConnecting to Mozart with postcards

Did you know, for instance, that Mozart called his wife "little mouse’, or that he loved the colour red and had a few red suits? What about the fact that he was an animal lover and kept several pets?

The results are great and they show a lot of meticulous researching, as connecting an Austrian composer to a random postcard takes some creative thinking! Turns out, we’re all humans in the end, so connections are inevitable, once you go looking for them.

Well done children, and well done Charlene, for coming up with this imaginative activity!

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A while ago, we got an email from Chang Chia-Yen (aka Geoian), in Taiwan. He’s a teacher in a secondary school there, and has been using Postcrossing with his classes… with a twist!

For a while, Geoian and his students collected postcard from all over the world, until they received a nice variety of them. Then, they shuffled all the cards together, divided the class into 2 teams and got ready for a mighty game of bingo!

Geoian's class bingo

The goal of Geoian’s class bingo is to be the first to make a straight line of 5 items (in this case, postcards), either diagonal, vertical or horizontally across the board, and eventually to complete it. At the start, each team fills up their lattice with postcards they pick, distributed randomly.

Geoian's class bingo

Then, conditions are laid out — these are special criteria such as “a multiview card”, “a card from a World Heritage site” or “a card featuring an aurora borealis”. Some are quite specific, while others are broad ranging and might be able to accommodate several different postcards.

They randomly choose the criteria for each turn, list them all on their blackboard, and then the game can start! In each turn, teams choose one postcard that matches the condition at play, and can thus be removed from the board. (Teams can also play some wildcards that change the conditions to better suit their needs… but we won’t go into so much detail). Whoever removes all the postcards from a straight line, makes a bingo!

Geoian's class bingo

It seems tricky, and I confess we had a little trouble understanding the concept initially… so the students got together on their own initiative and made a really nice video to show us the game in action! We found it really endearing and were infected by their enthusiasm — so we decided to share it with you all! Here it is:

It’s very nice to see this whole new dimension to exploring postcards — and also to know that the fun doesn’t stop after a card his registered! 😊 A huge thank you to Geoian for coming up with the game, and to all his students who took the time to make this video on own their free time to help us understand their bingo game. They are Angelina and Cathy (the hosts), Jenny and Nini (the videographers), and Linda, Mina, Frank, Duke, Jacob, Gino, Doris and Alex (the players) — thank you guys!

PS – If you’re a teacher or a parent, why not give it a go? Categories can be as convoluted or simple as you’d like, adapting the difficulty level to each children’s skills. Let us know how it goes!

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Remember the cute kids who serenaded Postcrossing last year with a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday, both in English and Maori?

Awwww… 😍

The little ones come from Koputaroa, a rural area in the North Island of New Zealand. Their Postcrossing account, Kererū, is both the name of their learning centre and the name of a bird native to the islands. The class has been on Postcrossing for 2 years now, and sent over 400 postcards… they’re very enthusiastic! :) We talked to their teachers about their class and Postcrossing.

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

We came across Postcrossing after making connections with kindergartens and other childhood centres around the world. While many who responded to us were in USA, we wanted to communicate with more centres around the world. A Google search turned up Postcrossing and so our exciting journey began. The children’s delight in receiving postcards of different peoples and places around the world kept us hooked.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

We have 3 teachers who have different hobbies. Helen is keen to travel the world and later this year is heading over to Europe with her family for a holiday. Sharee loves listening to music and adores One Direction and Ed Sheeran. I (Faye) personally like to read science fiction books and also enjoy being on my computer.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
Foxton mailbox

This is the mailbox in Foxton where all our cards are sent from. My husband considers it a personal job for him to actually put the cards in the box each time!

Foxton mailbox
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

The children love visiting the mailbox at the end of the drive to see if the mail van has left anything for them. They also love choosing the cards that gets sent to the receiving participant. A lot of thought goes into choosing just the right one.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

Where's Wally This is the prize we won for our video contribution to Postcrossing’s 10th birthday. The children absolutely love it and gather around it at reading time each day to see where Wally is. They consider it a challenge to see how fast they can find Wally!

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

We are absolutely thrilled to receive our two cards from the African continent, and hope for many more. The children have loved the many Finnish postcards that we received before Christmas that had Santa on them.

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

We work with children aged between 2–5 years so anything that interests them on a daily basis is what we are passionate about. With Postcrossing, they love receiving cards which show different foods, dress, cultures, buildings and animals.

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Back in May, we introduced you to “We Are One”, a project which brought Postcrossing closer to the children of Tuvalu. The project is now close to its end, and Emily sent us an update filled with really nice photos… we just had to share them with you!

She sums it up:

This project has been an amazing journey for me and the students. Not only were they excited to write on nicely printed postcards of Tuvalu (which is rare or never seen) and introduce it to the world, they were also thrilled to receive postcards, read the kind words from postcrossers and be amazed at the beautiful scenery pictures on a card. It is their fist time ever to learn how to read a map and name the seven continents!

My greatest satisfaction, as a teacher, is to see their thirst for knowledge, wanting to learn more about this world where most countries are too far away to them.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? But a picture is worth a thousand words, so here they are:

postcard received 3end of project posters 1postcard received 1end of project posters 2

Happy children and postcards… guaranteed to make my heart melt!

Emily collected some feedback about the project from the children, and one of them wrote “It’s amazing and I hope that other schools around the world do a similar project”. We hope so too! :)

A huge thank you to Emily for setting up this year’s activity in Tuvalu – and to Taiwan ICDF (International Cooperation and Development Fund) as well, for sending her there and helping fund her postcard project!

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Remember some years ago, when a class of students in Tuvalu sent postcards to raise awareness for the plight of their tiny country?

Well, they’re at it again! This year’s project is called “We are One”. Emily (aka emilytao), the volunteer who is helping the children on this project, explains the concept:

"Being one of the smallest and most remote nations in the world, it’s easy to miss out Tuvalu on the map. Through postcard exchanging, we wish to make this island country more known to the world; hence the idea of “We Are One Project” was born, which aims to connect Funafuti’s (the capital island) Primary School children with postcrossers from all over the world. Students will benefit from writing postcards in English, further motivating them to become better writers… or simply to have more enthusiasm in learning English!

In class

Once we receive postcards, students will be assigned to do studies and research on different country’s unique culture or history. They will be amazed at the fact how big the world is; bigger than they had thought, beyond the skyline of coconut trees and the sea.

Through this project, we hope to help our children be more connected with the rest of the world, and understand that we are all part of it, for better or worse, WE ARE ONE WORLD. "

How wonderful is that? :) They’re planning to send around 400 postcards, and the first ones are already on their way! If you’re lucky, you might receive or send one to them!

Oh! And if you didn’t know where Tuvalu is, or want to learn more about this Polynesian island nation, don’t forget to check out their page on Wikipedia. Student Dance PerformanceThis is a school

PS – We know that Tuvalu is a “rare” country, but Emily and the children won’t be able to engage in direct swaps for the duration of the project. So please respect their choice, and don’t contact them requesting for swaps.

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