The Power of Writing: Preparing Presidential Mail

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SWBAT publish their writing for specific task and audience.

Big Idea

In this lesson, students will put together a Presidential Pop-Up Card to send to our current president, President Barack Obama.

Enroll Students Into Learning

5 minutes

To begin todays lesson, I ask the kids if they have ever gotten one of those fun pop-up cards you can buy at the store from someone.  The kids raise their hands and want to share how they got a card that plays music, or had some funny thing that popped up when they opened it!  (This is a pretty entertaining conversation actually!)  I round up our conversation by explaining that those cards are cards that we often remember, and really enjoy, because they offer something a little extra than the typical card.  Today, we’re going to get to make fun pop-up cards for President Obama too!  These are sure to get his attention and be something that he’ll enjoy!

Experience Learning

5 minutes

To show the students what we’ll do today, I share an example for them that I’ve already created.  We talk about how we want it to look very nice and neat.  We also discuss how I’ve taken my time on this sample and did not rush and hurry.  I think it's really important to take the time to talk to students about the quality of their work, not just in the written work, but in the presentation as well!  It's important to take pride in our work, and this is a great opportunity to share that philosophy with the students!  Besides, we're writing to the President!  These need to be especially nice to mail to this important person!

Demonstrate Skills

10 minutes

In order to put these pop-up cards together, I want to model for the students all the parts that go into this card.  There are multiple pieces the kids will need today, so I start by showing all of them:

-President Pop-Up Card Template

-President Pop-Up Card Clip Art Pieces

-Final Draft of President Letter

In order to put these pop-up cards together today, students will start by folding their President Pop-Up Card Template in half so that they can see the black lines in the middle.  Then they will cut just on those black lines.  (This will be the piece that pops up.)  Then students will fold the card again, but the opposite direction, so that the pop up piece is on the inside.  (This will put a crease in the pop up part so that it makes a little pop up square when the card is opened.).  I pass out this paper to all the kids and we complete this step together as I circulate to provide any assistance needed.

Next, I show the kids how we’ll take our final draft letters and glue them to the bottom part of the card. I model, and then kids pull out their final drafts and glue them into their cards.

The last step is to add some decoration!  There are three parts to this.  First, kids can choose a clip art piece to glue onto the pop up!  (Note: The pieces of clip art here are from Phillip Martin’s clip art!  If you haven’t been to his website, you can check it out here. He offers clip art for free for teachers to use within their own classrooms, as long as you follow his guidelines for not using it for commercial purposes.  He’s got great stuff and I visit his website often!)  Next, kids can work on the background behind their pop up piece so that the card has a nice background as well.  Lastly, the kids can close up the card and decorate the top of the card, too!

Now students to get to work on being creative and preparing something great for President Obama!  It’s so fun to watch kids just be creative!


5 minutes

At the end of our lesson today, I ask students if anyone would like to show their pop up card to the class!  We have lots of takers, so we take the time to show off their work!  After everyone is done showing their card, I collect all of them to send away to the White House combined with a letter I've written to include on top!  Hooray!  I wonder what changes my third graders may have just inspired!