17th March 2006 at 00:00

Numeracy: Organise an investigation into the different types of letters that come into school over a week (eg from parents, business letters, charityfundraising and so on). Sort them into categories. Design a system for effective distribution but ensure that junk mail doesn't clog up the system.

Record the system using a tree diagram.

Geographycitizenship: As the letters are surveyed, record their geographical origin using both the postmark and the address of the sender.

Plot these on a suitable map. Find the shortest and longest distance travelled.

Set up an internal mailing system linking different classes so that they can write to each other. Have a theme for the week such as thank-you letters or invitations. Old red post-boxes can easily be purchased and make the process authentic. Use collection times and team sorting.

Humanities: Study one of the series of letters mentioned. Trace how the relationship between those who write to each other changes. Show the changes on a timeline.

Literacy: Look at the increasingly varying way that letters are ended.

Record the different examples and devise a guide for when each ending should be used. Publish your results.

Encourage pupils to write the letters being distributed by the school over a short period. (eg information letters to parents, letters of complaint, requests).

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