Having students create and share greeting cards provides a fun opportunity to talk about the purpose of writing, to practice writing and speaking, and to connect the work students do in the classroom to the world beyond it.
The authoring and sharing tools in Wixie make it easy to create and publish a range of greetings, from single pages of artwork you print to multi-page eCards with audio narration.When my preschooler needed Valentine's Day cards to share in class, I turned to Wixie's paint tools and layers to create a fun card he could use to practice writing his name. As he got older, he began using the paint tools and clip art to make his own.
You can use Wixie's printing options to publish the images you create at a range of sizes, making it easy to share student work for different purposes.
To give a community service feel to the project, you can have your students make cards for seniors living in a nearby nursing home or children with long-term illnesses who are staying for treatment at a children's hospital. If students create both a page in Wixie for a cover and then a few more for inside greetings and back side "company" information, you can print and fold as a booklet!
Great for Emerging Writers and Speakers
When both my kids were young, and still emerging readers and writers, rather than fighting about writing thank you cards after a birthday or other event, we simply took a picture with the gift, recorded our message and emailed a link.
Voice recording not only captures the unique personality of each child for the recipient, as students listen to their voice recording as they are working, they almost always want to practice and record again. Creating a greeting card for a specific event and recipient gives their writing and speaking a context, helping students think about how they need to enunciate, project, and adjust their speaking to convey the message they want to share.
If you choose to print cards, the don't have the option for voice narration. But Wixie projects are automatically online, so it is easy to share digitally. To send them to parents who are deployed or family and friends who live far away, simply copy the project URL and paste it into an email.
Creating cards at Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to get students thinking about gratitude. Depending on your time and student experience with Wixie, students can create a single image with narration or multiple pages you print in booklet format to fold and share. Help students get more sophisticated with their messages, by sharing examples of greeting cards that using humor, rhyme, and descriptive language effectively.
Thanksgiving isn't the only opportunity for teaching gratitude, but having all students create a thank you card without a specific context, doesn't really work. Instead, make thank you cards part of the process of going on a field trip or having a guest speaker visit your classroom. Students can also create thank you cards for sponsorhips and gifts to the classroom, school, or sports teams.
Building Confidence for Emerging Writers
Student-created greeting cards can be more than just a pretty cover and short message. When first-grade teacher Barbara Fairchild's students were studying families, she asked them to create My Favorite Relative stories to share with the person of their choice. Not only did this project highlight her first graders’ accomplishments in writing, one father even cried when he learned that he was his son’s hero.
In the same way authors appeal to emerging readers with pattern stories, you can support emerging writers by using patterns for their greetings. California educator Suzy Abel read I Love You, A Rebus Poem by Jean Marzollo to her students. She then helped students find three rhyming words they wanted to use in their story and do the backwards thinking necessary to come up with a poem ending in "I love you." This would make a great idea for a Valentine's Day card or even Mother's Day and Fathers' Day messages.
The combination of original artwork and voice narration is a perfect memory for Mother's and Fathers' Day cards.
No matter what context you choose, greeting cards provide an engaging way for students to practice writing and make someone else's day!