Thinking Like Santa
This project originated on the FrEdMail Network, with Dennis Cowick acting as the coordinator of letter writers and student "Santas." The first year all participating classrooms were from the San Diego County area. In subsequent years, classrooms from all over the United States have joined the exchange.
This activity can be very successful if a few guidelines are followed. First, it is very important that every student who writes a letter receives a reply. It is helpful if the "Santas" include a few extra "generic" letters so that new students, or ones who were absent when the original letters were written, will not be left out. Secondly, allow for at least three weeks lead time. The letters should be sent to the "Santas" as soon as possible after the Thanksgiving break. Thirdly, the "Santas's teacher", should specify beforehand, exactly how many letters his/her students will be able to respond to.
Suggested Grade Level and Audience
Estimated Time Required
Student Learning Objectives
For the younger students:
For all students:
The letters you will be receiving were written by elementary school students. These students think they are writing to the real Santa Claus. Your task is to write back to the students, as Santa might.
They will be thrilled to get a personalized letter from Santa. So, be sure to answer all their questions and tell them things about how you think Santa lives. Some things you might want to mention in your letter are:
Now be sure not to promise these children that they will definitely get any particular present that they are asking for, as we do not want them to be disappointed on Christmas morning. You might say that you need to check with their mom or dad first.
Your letters will be sent back to the children via the computer and a modem. This method of communicating is called telecomputing or telecommunications.
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