Creative Inquiry

Current Projects

The Jolly Postman Delivers: Dialoguing About Books With Children Through Pen Pal Letters


The Jolly Postman Delivers: Dialoguing about Books with Children Through Pen Pal Letters Creative Inquiry participants will have opportunities to read children’s picture books and dialogue through letters with students within three first grade classrooms providing critical perspectives on children’s comprehension and writing development. Prior to working with children, students will attend introductory sessions on picturebook characteristics and how to analyze picturebooks. Each group will then learn ways to model responses and appropriate writing skills and to assess children’s literature responses and writing in relation to Common Core State Standards. Participants are required to write a letter at least once per week to one to two assigned students—“pen pals.” (The Jolly Postman is the name of a children’s book, one of the first that we will read to the children about letter writing.) A second group of students will participate in sessions focused on analyzing children’s writing development, and this second group of participants will use varied research tools to analyze each child’s weekly writing attempts. Participants may also visit with the professor in the classrooms of these children, but fieldwork is optional, not a requirement for participation. Participants must enroll in ED 397.  This project will extend beyond one semester, for a minimum of two semesters.

Three groups of students will participate, one group for each first-grade classroom of approximately 16-18 children. In addition, there will be two workgroups. Workgroup
1: This group will engage in dialogue through letters with students in the early grades in the stages of emergent and early literacy development, primarily in grade 1. Workgroup 2: This group will receive training in research methodology and tools in order to analyze children’s weekly written responses. Such analyses will be in addition to the letter writing. Students in workgroup 2 should register for 2 credit hours.   

Team Leader(s)

Susan Fullerton, PhDTeacher Education

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This project needs students. Click here for details.

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