This outdoor experience provides children with opportunities to develop early writing and fine motor skills during a sociodramatic play experience focussed on writing and posting mail.
This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child/group level.
This learning experience plan relates to:
- emergent literacy
- language and emergent literacy learners (36 – 60 months)
- learning foci: exploring and creating texts and fine motor skills
- teaching practice: sociodramatic play.
What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?
Links to VEYLDF
Outcome 3: wellbeing
Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
- Manipulate equipment and manage tools with increasing competence and skill
Outcome 5: communication
Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media.
- Begin to use images and approximations of letters and words to convey meaning
- Experiment with ways of expressing ideas and meaning using a range of media
Victorian Curriculum levels F-2: language
Understand that texts can take many forms, and that imaginative and informative texts have different purposes.
- For children to convey meaning through written expression.
- For children to create mail in various forms (i.e. transactional texts).
- For children to develop fine motor skills for mark making and written expression.
Assessment of learning
Learning is demonstrated when children:
- draw/write pictures, letter/word-like formations, symbols, letters and/or words to convey meaning
- generate own ideas and incorporate these into various mail, e.g. letters, birthday cards, invitations
- hold writing implement with a tripod grasp (thumb and two fingers) and use adequate strength and control to produce writing/drawing.
Note: this experience is intended for the outdoor environment but can be adapted to suit indoors as well.
- Three constructed houses, e.g. tepee/tent, blankets draped over boxes/bushes to create houses.
- Three letterboxes – real ones or made using numbered cardboard boxes set up outside each of the houses.
- One large Australia Post mailing box (make your own with the children using a large cardboard box and paints).
- Three sets of toys, e.g. animals, dinosaurs, dolls to live in each house (optional as children may choose to post mail to each other).
- Bikes/scooters with boxes attached front or back to deliver the letters (optional as experience can be adapted for indoors).
- Table and chairs set up with paper, pencils, texta pens and envelopes. Sticky labels with relevant pictures (animals, dinosaurs, dolls) can also be used as ‘stamps’ on the letters, however this is not an essential part of the experience.
Approximately six-eight children, depending on the size of the area and resources available.
Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of the children’s communication abilities. Examples of differentiation:
- for a child who is writing some words, educators may extend their learning by supporting their ability to write sentences using some punctuation as appropriate.
- for a child who requires more structure to engage with such experiences, the educator may provide suggestions for who the child writes to as well as scaffolding their written expression.
- Clearly articulate the learning intention.
- As children join the experience, explain that they will be learning about how to post and write mail.
- Referring to a prior learning experience or linking to real life experiences will help to deepen the learning.
- The experience can be done in two slightly different ways; depending on the children’s interests, they may wish to write to each other or they may wish to incorporate the animals/dinosaurs in the sociodramatic play. Relevant teaching strategies are outlined below:
- support children to generate ideas for their mail through discussion.
- if appropriate, show children examples of mail such as post cards, greeting cards, invitations.
- ask questions such as, “What do you want to tell your friend?” to help them generate ideas for writing.
- ask prompting questions to extend the written expression to include necessary details, e.g. “What else do you need to say? Who’s the letter from? Can you write your name? Would you like to try and write the number 4?”
- model written words/letters or sentences as requested/appropriate for children to copy.
- ask the child to share what they have written/drawn.
- encourage children to stamp/post/deliver the mail to the mail box and/or various houses. As they do this, make links between their written messages and their play/actions “You wrote to the dinosaurs and now you are delivering it to their house” or “Jessica will be thrilled to receive your invitation.”
- To consolidate and assess understanding, follow up the learning experience with a group discussion, sharing a range of the children’s mail with the group and focussing on key learnings. Continue to offer the experience as long as appropriate based on children’s interest and learning progression.
This experience can be extended by:
- children writing letters as a group or individually to a special friend or family member.
- children walking to the local Australia Post box to post mail.
- a visit from the local Australia Post delivery person.
- children bringing in and sharing mail from home to discuss as a group.
Reflective questions for educators may include:
- what learning has occurred? How do you know?
- what have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
- in discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?
Additional/alternate resources for this learning experience
- Snail Mail by Sharon King-Chai
- The Jolly Post Man or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Related learning experience plans
Links to sections