When I go on a trip I sometimes like to send postcards to my family and friends telling them about things I'm seeing and doing.
Recently, Immanuel Lutheran School's third-graders, under the direction of their teacher, Carla Faga, participated in a postcard exchange. Postcards were written by all grade levels, from kindergarten to eighth grade.
They sent postcards to 27 Lutheran schools in the United States and one school in Alberta, Canada. Responses were received from 22 of those schools.
What did they write about to complete strangers? Important subjects such as their favorite hot lunch, average January temperature, average July temperature, geographical features of the area, school mascot, and famous people from their city or state. They also looked up on Google Maps to see where the schools were located and how far they were from Batavia.
When the kids looked the school up on Google street view they had some surprises. Some towns were so small that they didn't even have a street view. When they looked for the playground, more surprises were in store. Some schools had not one blade of grass to play on -- only cement because they were in urban areas. And a few schools were surrounded by chain link fence with barbed wire on the top.
The school website and/or Facebook page was also viewed. It was really fun to look at the pictures. One student commented when she saw the gym at Trinity in Red Bud, Illinois, "They have the same kind of banners as we do in our gym." (They were the Lutheran school state banners for sports.)
Faga explained that the kids worked on the letter and project together as a class. Each student gave suggestions and then a vote was taken to decide what information to include. The whole postcard exchange was tied into social studies with urban, suburban and rural communities.
Here are some of the things the kids said about the project:
Annabelle: "I liked learning about what other schools do for activities."
Clara: "We learned what it's like to live in other states."
Sydney: "I liked learning about what the weather is like in other states."
Mason: "I like to hear about the interesting facts of other states, like Elvis living in Memphis."
Earlier in the year, the class did a Valentine exchange with other schools throughout the United States -- both public and Lutheran.
There were 26 schools participating and they received valentines from 23 schools.
Along with a handmade valentine each school wrote a letter telling about their school, such as how many students were in their school, the field trips they took, and what extracurricular activities they had. They also learned about their climate and fun places to visit near them.
What a fun and interesting way to learn about different areas of the country and the kids who go to school there! It shows the differences but also the similarities. And it especially reminds us that we are all God's children -- no matter where we live or go to school.
Immanuel Lutheran Church and School is located at 950 Hart Road, one block south Hart Road and Pine Street in Batavia.
Questions about the can be directed to Heidi or Judy in the church office at (630) 406-1057 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit ilsbatavia.org for information on summer sport camps, summer enrichment, and the annual huge indoor garage sale.