Our Own Postal System


Community Helpers: Postal Workers
Social Studies/Sociology Grade 1



Students will better understand the working of the United States Postal Service by participating in a classroom postal system. To participate they will address an envelope, write a letter, and perform the duties of the postal worker.


Stationary, writing utensils, The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, numbers for each desk and a class to exchange letters with, old envelopes or pattern for making envelopes, stickers for stamps (optional), a hand bag for postal worker in which to carry letters (you may also want to include a part of a postal workers uniform such as a hat for the "postal workers" to wear).


1. Recall student's attention to previous introductory lesson on community helpers. Explain that we will be learning about postal workers. Read The Gardener by Sarah Stewart to the class for an example of how a postal worker can help us as individuals. Use "Think, Pair, Share" to answer the following questions.
* Why was it important for Lydia to be able to write letters? It helped her stay in touch with her family.
* Why is it important for us to write letters? It can help us stay in touch with our families and friends. Sometimes you can't travel to see them.
* How has a postal worker helped you? I wrote a letter to my cousin, my friend, etc. He brought me a card from my grandma on my birthday, etc.

2. Explain the attributes of a postal worker: what they wear, the tools they use, what the drive.


* What is their duty? To deliver mail to the appropriate places.
* What do they wear? Show a picture of their uniform, including hat.
* What tools do they use? Show pictures of the different machinery used to sort the mail.
* What do they drive? Show a picture of the average postal worker's vehicle and ask students if they have seen one before. Point out that the steering wheel is on the opposite side of most cars, so a postal worker can better reach mailboxes.


One book that can provide pictures and information is Community Helpers: Mail Carriers by Dee Ready.

3. Show them how to address an envelope using the numbers on their desk.

Billy Smith

#13 Miss Jones

Logan, UT 84321

Lisa Fritz

#21 Mrs. Manning

Logan, UT 84321

Show pictures of the different machinery a postal worker uses (pictures can be found in Community Helpers: Mail Carriers by Dee Ready). Explain how the machinery sorts the mail by zip codes. It reads the number code or someone types the zip code into the computer. The zip code tells the machine exactly which city or which part of a city a letter needs to be sent.

4. Have students write a letter to someone in a neighboring class. Pair students with students from the neighboring class, so no one is left out (sit down with the neighboring teacher and pair up students together). You may need to demonstrate how to write a letter if the class has not had the opportunity to write one before.

5. After letters have been written and envelopes addressed, have two students perform the duties of a "postal worker". Explain to the class that they will need to look at the number on the address to sort and deliver the letters. You may need to go with the students the first time.

6. Frequently encourage students to write letters to other s ling and grammar does not need to be 100% accurate for this activity. The content of the letter just needs to be appropriate.

2. Have two students perform the duties of the postal worker each day. They will need to gather the mail and sort according to which class each letter needs to go. After sorting, they will deliver the mail to the appropriate student.


By, Brenda Hansen

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