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Teaching the Love for Snail Mail

In the Digital Age, technology has made many daily functions tremendously easier. The way we communicate has become more efficient and arguably more effective. But as our desire to be more efficient increases, the times of pen pals and love letters are quickly fading. Emails, text messages and social media messaging are now our primary forms of communication, but as this trend continues younger and future generations suffer.

Students are Missing Out

A survey commissioned for children’s charity World Vision in 2010 found that one in five children had never received a handwritten letter, according to The Guardian. Seeing as technology has only grown since then, it is very likely these statistics have risen. This fact will more than likely not be shocking or even news for educators, but there’s no better time to address the issue than now.

Brian Hall, a contributing writer on ReadWrite.com, said he’d recently discovered his son, a senior in high school, had never been taught to address mail.

“How is it possible that the world’s most connected, most tech-savvy generation ever does not know how to mail a letter,” Hall wrote. “What else don’t they know?”

 

Writing by Hand has Real Benefits

A common assumption is children no longer need to know how to send mail. With email, text messages and social media messaging capabilities, what’s the point? Studies show there’s a number of ways we benefit from writing by hand. According to Dr. Marc Seifier, a handwriting expert and author of an analysis on the subject, handwriting helps the brain in these seven ways:

  1. It has a calming effect.
  2. It coordinates the left brain and the right brain.
  3. It boosts cognitive skills.
  4. It inspires creativity.
  5. It sharpens aging minds.
  6. It improves memory.
  7. It uses more of your brain.

Writing by hand is especially important for young children because it’s an imperative tool in improving cognitive skills. Giving a child a task like writing a letter is more engaging and can be more enjoyable. It’s also empowering as it makes them feel what they have to say is important.

The Solution

We understand time and resources are often limited for educators. For this reason, we’ve created a “Letter Writing” project with step-by-step instructions for teachers to use in their classrooms. We’ll provide you with a list of the supplies needed, where to find them and how to have them delivered directly to your classroom.

How to Write a Letter: Teaching your Students with Ease

What you’ll need:

  • Copy Paper or Stationery
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Customized Return Address stamp including your school’s address

*Note: order quantity according to the size of your class and order additional for mistakes. Leave ‘name’ portion of the address stamp blank so each student can fill in their name when addressing their letter.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. A few days before you begin the project, instruct each child to think of a person they would like to write a letter to and what they would like to tell them. If you’re teaching younger children, inform the parents of the project. Ask them to bring in the address of the person their child would like to send their letter to.
  2. On the day of the project, distribute the supplies to each child (one piece of paper or stationery, one envelope, one stamp).
  3. Instruct the children to begin writing their letter to whoever they chose to send it to. Allow 30 minutes to one hour for them to do this (varying by age group).
  4. As they write their letters, distribute the addresses brought in by the parents.
  5. After they’ve finished writing, show them the proper way to fold the letter (depending on the size of envelopes you bought).
  6. Have them leave the letter outside of the envelope as they address it.
  7. Display on your chalk or white board the proper way to address a letter.
  8. Instruct the children to carefully copy the address provided by their parents onto the envelope.
  9. Have each child raise their hand when they are finished. As they finish, bring your personalized return address stamp around to each student. Instruct them to leave enough room above the stamp to fill in their name, then have them stamp their envelope.
  10. Now have them place their letters inside the envelope and seal it.
  11. Refer to your illustration on the board and have them place their postage stamps in the proper area.
  12. Review the addresses on each envelope ensuring they addressed it properly.
  13. Collect the mail and send it yourself, or go on a group trip to the mail box.
  14. Wait for them to receive their reply letter!

A project like this will develop a love for sending and receiving letters. Sending snail mail may be a less efficient way to communicate, but it’s one that expresses how important the recipient is. Teaching your students the art of sending mail is something they won’t soon forget!

Want to add an extra special touch to all of your outgoing snail mail? Shop our complete collection of customizable address stamps or shop our full rubber stamps selection for more personalized options!