50 States Postcard Project for School Libraries
Have you heard about the 50 States Postcard Project for school libraries? It’s a cool pen pal project that helps students learn about the United States — from one school library to another. You have to buy (or create) 50 postcards to represent your state. Then, have your students fill them out and mail them to other participating school libraries.
I’m setting up my 50 States Postcard Project as a library center for 3rd grade. I’m going to try to get the postcards from our state tourism department, but I may end up purchasing them from Amazon. (Update: I did buy them from Amazon.) I’m planning to use book fair proceeds to pay for the postcards, if needed, and also to buy the stamps.
Here’s how it works. Your students will research your state and find lots of interesting facts to promote all the cool things that make your state such a great place to live. They’ll also share what kids in your state do for fun. I’m going to group my students into teams to create their postcards. We have an extra-long bulletin board in the hallway right outside the library, so that’s where I’ll have students display the postcards as they start coming in. I put a United States map in the center (from Amazon) which came pre-laminated. The students will use curl ribbon streamers to connect their postcards to the correct states. Because I have so many classes, we will receive multiple postcards from some states, so I can imagine that it will look very colorful in a few months. (UPDATE: See our completed 50 States Postcard Project bulletin board at the top.) I think everyone in our school family will love looking at the post cards from all across the nifty fifty United States! I may have to ask our music teacher to help me teach them that old song!
UPDATE: 8/6/2018 Here’s a message from our organizer, Brenda Hauff (firstname.lastname@example.org) “We are still needing classrooms from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. I’m excited for all the great learning experiences that are going to happen this year.”
ME TOO! Here’s her Google doc with more details: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wTAS7ljbjAnWgj50uDiQNezYyG_-6G8_1-SXZdiQuLE/edit#gid=1378180119
Okay — that’s it! I hope that some of you will want to jump in and swap postcards with us! Let’s work together as librarians to teach the skills of researching the 50 states and writing a “snail mail” note to a pen pal!
UPDATE: 9/12/2018 The postcards are beginning to come in, and my kids are enjoying them so much! I decided to display my postcards with the picture side showing and a photocopy of the written side underneath. That way the kids can enjoy both sides. I went over the project with each class (K-4th) so all of them would know what we’re doing and why. I also set up our bulletin board in the hallway, so everyone can see when a new postcard has been added. We are having a lot of fun with this project! I’ll post a photo soon!
UPDATE: 5/15/2019: You can see a photo of our completed 50 States Postcard Project bulletin board at the top! It turned out so amazing! Toward the end, some schools had not sent us their postcards by the middle of April 2019, so I had to appeal to parents through our newsletter to get the last few states! Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and family friends from around the nation came through for us and made sure that we met our goal! We ended up with at least one postcard from every state and territory!