Saturday, December 3, 2011

22 Days 'Til Christmas!!

Hey Everyone!! It's Day 4 of my Christmas Project and today I am sharing an activity/teaching opportunity that I loved to do with the children at my work. Every child loves to write their letter to Santa! When I worked at a Dayschool, I had a very large class of elementary children and every Christmas we got together to write letters to Santa as a group. It was so fun to get together and watch their excitement as they chose what to write. Not only did we celebrate the Holidays doing this, but I used the time to teach the kids the fundamentals of writing letters and addressing envelopes. 
I bought some blank 8 1/2" x 11" Christmas invitations and some envelopes. Here are some examples:
You can buy these to print your personal invitation but I used them to write on.

With a PENCIL, the children chose what they wanted to ask of Santa and filled up their paper. I used a large dry erase board to display a letter template for the kids to follow. This taught them the importance of capitalizing, punctuation and a general format of a letter.

"Dear Santa,
I have been a very good boy/girl this year! 
Please bring me _______________ for Christmas. Thank You! 
Sincerely, _______"

I also used the dry erase board to help with some words that were difficult to spell and to write Santa's address. We learned how to write a formal Mr. and Mrs. address along with location. On every envelope I drew a small square to limit the children to an appropriate space for the address preventing them from writing on the entire envelope. Children begin writing very large letters so by limiting the amount of space for them to write, they improve their dexterity. The address template is below:

Mr. and Mrs. Claus
1225 Toy Shop Lane
North Pole, Artic 92765

We also practiced return addresses with the address of the school. I bought stickers from Hobby Lobby that were in the shape of stamps so the children could finish the envelopes to be mailed. Once completed, the letters were collected in my handy dandy shoe box that I would "take to the post office". Later that day, I handed out each and every letter to the childrens' parents for a little Christmas shopping insight! :D They LOVED the idea! I hope if you're a teacher, this gives you a project to work on with your little munchkins! It was always such a fun way to enjoy the holidays and incorporate a little lesson as well! Enjoy!!

Today I'm Listening To:
O Holy Night by Celtic Woman

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