Implementation of ‘Letters and Postcards from War Times’ (SOI-FR-176)

Context for the implementation

Class: 13 students (7 to 8 years old). Very heterogeneous level: some students cannot read or write while others read and write rather fluently.

School: Elementary School Les Lilas, in Saint-Denis, Reunion Island (French Overseas). The school is in a « priority education zone » (REP +), which grants specific funds to underprivileged students who come from difficult financial, cultural and familial backgrounds.

Why pick this scenario?

Nowadays, students are no longer used to writing letters or seeing their relatives write letters. Texts and emails have replaced postal mail.

This scenario is thorough enough to tackle many areas of study while remaining fun and appealing (multi and interdisciplinarity: writing, reading, social skills, foreign language, geography, history, mathematics, digital, art, music…). In our case, our class engaged in actual correspondence with Canadian pupils (from Quebec), generating genuine excitement for the students on the subject of writing and discovering a new country (its languages, its cultures and traditions …): it makes the scenario real and places students in a situation of true communication with a concrete aim.

What I retained from the original scenario / What I adapted?

Because of students age (they were younger) and interest, the scenario has been adapted:

  • some activities have been omitted (for example, writing about the war was not carried out) 
  • others have been modified (world war II study replaced by Canada study)
  • and some have been added (singing a Canadian song, book discovering).

Please see the document enclosed for more details.

Did you like this story of implementation? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario:

Letters and postcards from war times created by  Heathcliff Schembri

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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