Letters to Santa
1. OBTAIN A PARTNER SCHOOL
If you find your own partner, you may send a copy of these materials to your partner. You may modify and use them for your own purposes as a classroom teacher. However, "The Santa Letters" and all accompanying files are copyrighted ©, and you may not adapt or utilize them for any organized or commercial purposes. In all cases you must attribute credit to Dennis Cowick and the Global Schoolhouse.
Do NOT announce the Santa Letter Project to your students until after you have made contact with a partner teacher. It would be a good idea to exchange several messages and perhaps even talk on the phone once or twice to ensure an equal commitment to the project before you announce it to your students. You will find that the key to a successful project follows from a firm commitment from both sides to finish the project to the end.
LEARN HOW TO CONVERT WORD PROCESSOR FILES TO ASCII TEXT FILES
If you want to send your letters as a word processing document file, you and your partner teacher must use the same word processing program. Often, the easiest way to send and and receive files of student writing is as attached text files.
If you want to do this but you don't already know how to convert your word processing files to plain text files, please get help from people in your school, school district, or community who can help you learn how to do this.
2. PRACTICE SENDING AND RECEIVING FILES WITH YOUR PARTNER
One of your main tasks in this project is sending the letters back and forth. It is imperative that you learn these procedures BEFORE beginning this project with your class.
Write a practice letter to Santa, save it on disk, and send it via email, first to yourself, then to your partner teacher. You should expect your partner to reciprocate so that you both can feel confident that the project won't fail due to lack of technical knowledge on your partner's part.
Remember to ask someone nearby if you need technical help.
3. SET GUIDELINES WITH YOUR PARTNER CLASS
4. DO SOME PRE-WRITING ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR CLASS
After describing the lesson to your students, use one of the pre-writing prompts, either for primary students or secondary students.
Secondary teachers: do some pre-writing exercises with your students... before you begin receiving your Santa Letters.
5. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS WRITE TO SANTA
I have talked to primary teachers and there are different ways to have your students actually write their letters
6. PRIMARY TEACHER SENDS THE LETTERS
It may save you time if you compile all of your student letters into one large file. However, if you do this, include a page break between each one of your students' letters.
7. SECONDARY TEACHERS RECEIVE THE LETTERS
Download, save, and print the message(s) containing the Santa Letters. Pass out the letters to your class, have them write a letter FROM Santa and save the letters. You can merge several letters "from" Santa into one or more longer files. Be sure and include a page break between each one of your students letters.
8. SECONDARY TEACHERS SEND THE LETTERS FROM SANTA
When you send your email containing Santa's letters to your partner teacher, type a preamble "from" Santa. Then upload the files of student writing.
Ho Ho Ho! It was so nice to get all those wonderful letters from Mrs. Jones class down
there in California! It warmed my heart to hear from so many of you. Have a wonderful
HO HO HO!
9. SPECIAL SUGGESTIONS AND REMINDERS
Send a letter to your partner class:
Have your students write, either as a class or in several small groups, an evaluation of this project, including their reactions and how they would improve the project. Send this evaluation to your primary partner.
11. A VARIATION ON THE SANTA CLAUS LETTER EXCHANGE
Some of the letters that have been written to and from Santa by students in past years are available.