ERIC Number: ED279010
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Letters to Pen Pals at a Convalescent Center. A School Project That Rewards Warmth and Understanding.
Ashe, Peter M.
To broaden the scope of a letter writing unit for seventh graders, a real-life component brought together two groups who could learn from one another, youngsters (who usually did not have living or nearby grandparents) and the elderly in a convalescent home. Students selected their pen pals on the basis of biographical data and similar interests and then wrote their letters of introduction just before Christmas. After the holidays, students wrote a second letter, and the elderly patients answered with letters of their own. During the third week of January, a field trip to the convalescent center was planned so that young and old could meet face to face. Preparations for this visit included viewing several films and studying a mini-unit on the elderly and social attitudes toward them, both in the United States and in other cultures. The visit to the center was kept simple and uncomplicated, and the meetings were poignant and emotionally satisfying. In the spring a get-together was held on the patio of the center, and the final writing assignment was given the week before summer vacation. The rewards of this letter writing project were felt long after school ended in June. (Explanatory material is provided, including handouts for students and questionnaires for students and the elderly patients.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English Spring Conference (6th, Louisville, KY, March 26-28, 1987).