Learning about Delivering the Mail

Part way through the summer, I volunteered to pick up and distribute the mail for our umbrella school.  Really, it is no extra burden.  I go by the post office every time we visit the library {and if you have read this blog for any time, you know how fond of the library we are!}.  A stop at the post office only takes a few minutes. 

Since we have added weekly trips to the post office, and we were studying history from about 1830 to the present times this school year, I decided we might as well learn a bit about the history of mail delivery in our country.  We already knew of Benjamin Franklin's role in starting a mail system during the Colonial Era.  However, there was still a lot of time between its conception and modern times to explore.  We started with the Pony Express, mainly for the adventure of it.  I figured the speed and the danger of Pony Express riders would interest my boys.  Then, we progressed through time, using various books and events to learn a bit more about how the mail has been delivered through the years.  When possible I incorporated the mail delivery into other themes, as well. 

The first book we read was Whatever Happened to the Pony Express? by Verla Kay.  {I mentioned this book in a previous post about previewing our history lessons.} 

Later, during our brief summertime preview of slavery, underground railroad, and freedom unit, we read Freedom Song: The Story of Henry "Box" Brown, by Sally M. Walker.  {I mentioned this book in this past post.}  Since Henry gets shipped to freedom there was a lot of fascinating information about mail delivery during the Civil War time period. 

Finally, we read Mailing May, by Michael O. Tunnell, which is a true story about five year old Charlotte May Pierstorff being shipped 75 miles across the mountains of Idaho to visit her grandma in 1914.  May didn't have to ride in a box like Henry Brown, but she was stamped and considered a package (officially classified as a baby chick).

The Inside Story

A fun extra to this theme arrived with my sweet sister-in-law.  When she and her husband came to visit for a weekend, they brought The Inside Story by Kathy Brodsky.  A poetical story of an envelope who journeys through the mail system and is eventually recycled into a book presented a very unique perspective of our current mail delivery system.  The children loved the vibrant illustrations and the lyrical text was fun to read aloud.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a fun unit! Your children are so blessed that you incorporate their life into your homeschool!


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