This past weekend, I spent the afternoon writing Holiday cards. I never thought I’d be the type of person who sends out cards in December, but I’ll admit, I’ve found the practice surprisingly fun. Sitting down with a hot cup of tea, I’d write out a meaningful message to someone important in my life, seal it with my own wax stamp (because I’m ostentatious like that) and send it on its way. Mailing a card is a small way of spreading cheer during a time when things are typically is cold and dark. Plus, given how difficult 2021 was, it couldn’t hurt to include our students in this tradition of writing.

The truth is that the holidays can be a lonely time for many people. Receiving a kind card in the mail could very well be the thing to put a smile on their face. So, why not take this opportunity to create cards of care with your students? Not only will this give them a chance to practice their language and writing skills, but it’s also a chance to promote social-emotional learning within your classroom. Here are just a few tips to help your students get started.

Who are They Thankful For?

Do your students need help finding someone to write to? There are actually more possibilities than they might realize. Simply ask them who they are thankful for. Start by listing individuals within the school who help make their learning possible: the principal, the cafeteria workers, the bus driver, and the janitors. After that, consider who might appreciate a card after such a long year. Maybe they could write Thank You cards to the doctors at their local hospital. Send a nice note to the residence of retirement home, or even send letters to the city fire station. The possibilities of spreading cheer are everywhere!

We Wish You a Merry…?

December is a time of many holidays and traditions. In writing cards, you have the chance to teach your students about some of the different holidays that are recognized in this season. Take advantage of the latest Timely Topic from Blue Apple and introduce your class to 50 Nifty Holiday Traditions from around the world. Depending on who students are writing to, they could incorporate one of the festivities into their letter. Will they wish their recipient a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, or simply include a delicious recipe for Holiday Cod?

Select a Stamp!

If you don’t mind spending a little money, consider stirring up some competition by having students vote on a class stamp. Allow students to visit the USPS website and browse through the different stamps available for purchase. Do they want to adorn their letters with otters in the snow? A nice Santa? Maybe they would like to pay tribute to a famous scientist like Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu? After that, give students the chance to respectfully debate which stamp should be purchased before putting it to a class vote!

Get to Writing    

Finally, help your students as they pen their holiday cards. See how festive your students can make them by introducing as many holiday-themed words as they can. Encourage them to use words like “jolly”, “humbug” “yuletide” and so forth. Above all, remind your class that words are powerful, and that sometimes our words can really make a difference. Encourage your students to think about others by writing in a way that will bring happiness to those people that may need the encouragement the most.

Just imagine if teachers across the nation helped students spread comfort and joy through thoughtful holiday cards. What a wonderful holiday present that would be!

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