Bev's adventures in ICT

Letters to Santa

If you’re looking for a quick Christmas theme activity to carry out with some younger children then writing a letter to Santa is always a popular option. And using 2Publish+ to complete the activity gives it a lovely personal touch.

You can start by using the borders setting on 2Publish+ to give the letter an individual twist. One of the choices available for use is the perfect letter layout, with space for the child’s address in the upper right hand corner. The thing that makes the activity is the child’s opportunity to create a beautiful custom border, particularly when you use the additional tools available. The child just draws their design in the magnifier and this is automatically added to the page when you click onto the document.

I suggest you take the time to model some suggestions for the border on the IWB, creating the images out of basic shapes that the children can easily replicate. This can help get the creative juices flowing but I also think that a good design doesn’t need to be fiddly: showing the pupils how to add a coloured background using the fill tool (I always think it makes a difference) and some ideas using basic shapes (e.g a Christmas tree from a basic triangle) helps them appreciate how a simple design can look effective. Of course the fabulous range of tools help tremendously! The ‘fuzzy brush’ (well that’s what I call it anyway) gives a tree or robin an extra dimension, the ‘splash’ tool makes a beautiful instant star on the smallest setting and the cloud tool produces a great snowy or fluffy look for your snowman or Santa.

Once your custom border is applied it is time to compose the letter. you could encourage the children to use a funkier font than usual and to change the colour so that it really stands out. you might like to install a few free Christmas and fun fonts to give the pupils even more scope for creativity.  You could also add any vocabulary they require to the IWB (I always use the handwriting recognition tool on ActivInspire for this, especially with younger ones).

The finished letters will look lovely and colourful when printed out and you could even print some extra ones for a special Christmas display!! All in all it is a really lovely Christmassy activity 🙂

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