Monday, December 15, 2008

Santa Letters

Here is a fun way to personalize letters to Santa.

My primary students (prek-3) started this lesson by drawing pictures in TuxPaint of what they would like to receive from Santa Claus for Christmas. For the younger students, prek-grade 2, I created a postcard template from Microsoft PowerPoint for the students to use. I divided the slide in half by using the line tool. If you would like specific instructions you might check out this book by Tammy Worcester, called 50 Quick and Easy Computer Activities.

I created the stamp by using to create a photo stamp. (Notice as I was typing this entry, that the direct link to the photo stamps was not working. Hopefully, that is only temporary.) Then I took a screen shot of the completed stamp and copied the image into the postcard. I used PowerPoint's crop tool to get rid of the extra stuff around the stamp, then saved the template for student use.

Tuxpaint imagines were inserted into the template. My aid and I helped the younger students type their letters to Santa. (Third grade students did all of this on their own. Second grade students typed the letter to Santa, but had help inserting the image into the template.)

I did combine all the postcards into one PowerPoint before printing. I printed the letters as handouts 2 per page and laminated each post card. Then I made a display in the hallway to hang the postcards. As student's leave for Christmas break, I will give them their Santa letter to take home to their parents as a keepsake.

I wanted to display our letters on my blog. I choose MagToo SlideShow and was really happy with the ease of this application. I saved the PowerPoint presentation in jpeg format. This made it easy to upload each Santa letter. I selected a style, skin and theme. This app was really uncluttered and easy to use. The user can even set the timing of the show and add music. It would be nice if MagToo would offer an education side where students might not be exposed to improper examples. They have a good product.


Al said...

Love the Santa letters! I also really like the MagToo slideshow. I haven't seen that tool before.


Gee said...

This is great Becky. I love the stamp idea and will "borrow" it. Thanks,