SMS teacher found way to bring the states to her students

Maranda Churchman teaches life skills at Salem Middle School and wanted to put a new twist on learning about the 50 states. 

She knew she couldn’t take her students to visit the states, so she came up with a way to bring the states to her students with a postcard project.  

“I wanted to take learning about the states a little further and get the community involved,” Churchman said. “I decided I wanted to try to get a postcard from every state.” 

Churchman said she wasn’t sure how long it would take to get one from every state, especially with COVID-19 causing the switch from in-person learning to on-line learning. She said she started by sending out a call on social media and the project just took off from there. 

“I made a post on Facebook asking for postcards and it didn’t take long before the post had more than 1,400 shares,” she said. “There were also 300 comments, plus I was getting phone calls, text messages and e-mails coming from everywhere.” 

Then the postcards started coming in. 

Churchman said since she started the project she has received 115 post cards including one from Canada. 

The students have not only received cards from every state, many who sent cards wrote different facts about the states they sent the cards from. 

“As we are going through them, we can take them down and see what people wrote about their states,” Churchman said. “Some would write facts, but some would ask us questions and encourage us to look up things about the state.

“The kids have enjoyed the project and really seem to like it.” 

Churchman said there have been some facts that both she and students have found to be interesting. 

“We got a postcard about Route 66 and learned that it actually goes through eight different states,” she said. “The students really thought that was neat. The museum of Aviation is in Georgia and we actually received a patch from the museum to go along with the postcard! 

“We also learned that Maine has more coastline than California which we thought was really interesting.”

The postcard project is just one of the many ways students and teachers have been able to use the internet to bring the outside world into the classroom. 


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