Community helpers are an important part of the kindergarten and first grade curriculum. When you are studying community helpers, you will want to include a lesson on the postal workers. Use these lesson plan ideas to introduce the post office and how it works to your students.
Introduction to the Post Office
To introduce your students to the post office, gather them around you to read the book "The Post Office Book: Mail and How It Moves" by Gail Gibbons. This nonfiction story will take your students through the steps of what happens to a letter from the time it is mailed until it reaches its final destination. After reading the book discuss the steps of sending a letter with your class. Write the steps in order onto a large piece of chart paper.
Send your students back to their seats. Give each student a worksheet that you have made that lists the steps in boxes, but out of order. For younger students you may need to draw a picture alongside the words on your steps. Tell them to cut out the steps and glue them in order onto a sheet of construction paper.
At your writing center provide paper and envelopes for writing letters. Two great books that demonstrate letter writing are "Dear Mr. Blueberry" by Simon James and "The Jolly Postman" by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Allow your students to write letters during their center or after they have finished their work. Encourage them to write letters to a variety of different students so everyone gets mail at some point. Provide a mailbox for them to place the letters in.
Add the job of post office worker to your jobs list and provide time each day for the students to sort through the mail in the mail box and deliver it to the proper students' cubbies. If your class doesn't have cubbies or mailboxes for paper, just have them deliver the mail to their desks.
Visit the Post Office
Try to plan a field trip to your local post office. This is a great way to wrap up a unit about mail or community helpers. Your students will really understand how mail is moved if they can go on a tour and see it firsthand. If you are unable to tour a real post office, take your class to the teacher's workroom where the teachers' mailboxes are located. Try to arrange for the person who sorts and delivers the mail to the boxes to show the students some mail when it is delivered and then to demonstrate how it is sorted and placed in the mailboxes. This will give them an idea of how mail is delivered at school.