Again this year, I received pen pal letters from an American teacher, Lesli Patten. She is from my hometown Liberty, Kentucky and teaches 6th grade at Liberty Elementary School. She worked so hard again this year to send my school letters to pen pal with my students. It has been such an awesome project. However, this year I am doing things a little bit differently when working to write back. Instead of only using my class to write letters, I had my English club write some and then will let my class write the rest. This way, her class with get a wide range of writing ability. I knew that my English club would have more time and a higher ability to write nice letter to her class.
We spent part of our club time reading the letter that we had received. I asked them to underline any words in the letter that they didn’t understand. Then we spent time discussing or defining the words. Many of the words were just vocabulary unfamiliar to them, others were slang or American terminology that would never be used in Ethiopia. For example, ‘four-wheeler’ or ‘going muddin.’ So, some of the words were a little difficult to explain but made for fun conversation! I think the strangest thing to explain to a young girl in Deneba (the countryside of Ethiopia) was what a ‘cowgirl’ was. lol
Then, we spend the rest of the time writing their letters to their new pen pal friends. They really enjoyed writing to their new friends. My English Club students were able to be a lot more creative with their letters than my class was last year. So, I think the American 6th grade class will really enjoy receiving them.
I later was also able to read their journals and read their reactions to reading and writing the letters. Many of them commented about how much fun it was to make a new American friend. They really enjoyed the activity.
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