My goal was to receive at least one postcard from every Spanish-speaking country. In addition to the random postcard addresses, you can search their database for other members by country. I was quickly able to make contact with people from almost every Spanish-speaking country and arrange to exchange postcards. I was overwhelmed by the generousity of these strangers. They not only sent me postcards, but books, CD's, brochures, newspapers, magazines, coins, and a lot more. They were very interested in the idea of sharing their country and culture with students in the U.S. and I was excited to make these postcards a part of my class.
Each week we have a "Culture Day" where I would share one of the postcards. We would read the messages, locate the countries on maps, and look up the tourist attractions on the cards themselves. I bought a box of postcards, and each student wrote a thank you postcard to one of the people and talked a little bit about themselves and our school. I would then send a thank you postcard to each postcrossing member that contributed to our project.
As our collection of postcards grows, I look forward to thinking of ways to take this project further. I have toyed with the idea of a traveling postcard display that could visit the various elementary and secondary buildings in our district. Perhaps a future grant idea, I don't know.
At any rate, if you are looking for a way to make culture real and interesting for your students, I would definitely recommend becoming a member of Postcrossing. I have to admit even I learned a lot of some countries that I previously only knew very little about...the side effect being that my travel wishlist has grown quite a bit. Happy Postcrossing!
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