Introduction Getting Ready
Learning Circles Teachers' Guide
Open Circle Plan Projects Share Work Publish
Close Circle Overview

Ideas for Creating Welcome Packs

Students and teachers often enjoy the discussion of how to represent themselves with items that can fit in a postal envelope. Students in California decided to send pictures of their dads surfing rather than themselves. They said that this would show others that surfing is a life-long affair and not just a teenage pastime. Students in Mexico created a collage of candy wrappers of their favorite "sweets." From Japan came train schedules and a map of Disneyland with unfamiliar Japanese characters. Students in Alaska sent photos of students traveling to school on a Ski-doo in the dark. Maple syrup is often sent from New England states and a West Virginia school always includes a lump of coal. Australian students sent instructions on the design and construction of "dugout" homes below ground level to escape desert heat near the opal mines. Hawaiian students sent "pogs" for a simple game that began as a craze in Hawaii and, over a period of years, has spread across the world.

Deciding what to send can be as much fun as trying to make sense of the clues that students receive from their partners!

Here are some ideas for what you might decided to include:

  • A class letter with descriptions of students, school and community
  • Pictures of students, the school, and the community
  • Dress code, school rules or Cafeteria menus
  • Examples of school work or pictures of classroom displays
  • Postcards or brochures of your city's main attractions or features
  • Average weather patterns
  • Symbols such as your school sport team mascot, state or country flag, business logos.
  • Player cards of baseball, soccer, football or city teams.
  • A city map
  • A school newspaper
  • The front page or some special section of a city newspaper
  • A student directory for pen pal exchanges
  • Places to look for materials:

  • The city chamber of commerce
  • hotel lobbies
  • city information centers
  • large industries, school district office
  • sports promotion offices
  • social services offices
  • transportation centers
  • airports
  • train stations
  • universities.
  • Often these places will be happy to provide students with materials to send their partner schools.

    Remind your students that they will be sending a package to each of their partners so that whenever possible they should collect materials in sets of 10. When you take photographs, it is cheaper and faster to take 5 copies of the same picture and order double prints then it is to take single pictures and then wait for reprints to be made.

    Phase 2: Opening the Circle


    Copyright © 1997, 2002, Margaret Riel