Curriculum support material

Our post
Our post – what's it all about?

Below you will find curriculum-linked lesson and activity ideas and student activity sheets to support letter writing and literacy activities in your classroom. The lesson and activity ideas cover all learning areas and are sorted accordingly below.

The education resource materials have been designed for a national audience (taking the new Australian Curriculum into consideration) and offer a broad range of learning experiences for middle to upper primary students (including middle years).

They are copyright-free for use by Australian teachers and are provided in both PDF and HTML formats. The student activity sheets are also provided in SMART Notebook format where applicable.

Some lessons require students to use the "Let's write a letter" and "Follow a parcel – how does it get there?" interactives and view "The journey of a letter" video. These are available in Multimedia fun in the "Our post – what's it all about" primary student section. Other lessons will require students to read All about our post which can also be found in the "Our post – what's it all about" primary student section.

Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • learn and reflect on Australia Post's history and the history of post in Australia.
  • consider communication in its different forms and compare ways people communicated in the past, communicate in the present and might possibly communicate in the future.
  • describe the system of mail processing, from postage to delivery.
  • understand the need for a safe work environment for posties.

Lesson and activity ideas

 

English

  • Students to use the "Let's write a letter" interactive to write letters for various purposes and audiences. For example:
    • a letter to a favourite athlete or movie star
    • a letter to the local council about a community issue
    • a letter to the editor of a newspaper
    • a letter to invite a guest speaker to their class.
  • Students to view "The journey of a letter" video online. Students to discuss (as a class or in small groups) the questions on the "Journey of a letter discussion" activity sheet.
  • Students to view "The journey of a letter" video online then complete the "Australia Post quick quiz" activity sheet.
  • Students to write a story from the perspective of a stamp.
  • Students to read "All about our post" and complete the "What's your choice?" activity sheet.
  • Students to complete the "Wordsearch" activity sheet and then create their own wordsearch using postal key words.
  • Students to read "All about our post" and complete the "Australia Post crossword" activity sheet.
  • Students to complete the "Journal writing" activity sheet.
  • Students to investigate and write a report on one of the many jobs offered by Australia Post.
  • Students to complete the "Postie safety comprehension" activity sheet.

Student activity sheets

Student activity sheet solutions

Mathematics

  • Students to record the number of postal items they receive in their letterbox over a period of two weeks. Sort the items into groups: letters, cards, magazines, bills etc. and graph results.
  • As a class, brainstorm why stamps cost money to buy, and why mail needs to have stamps.
  • Students to complete the "Crack the code" activity sheet.
  • Students to complete the "Postcode blitz" activity sheet.
  • Students to complete the "Postie delivery path" activity sheet.
  • Students to use the postage calculator on the Australia Post website auspost.com.au/pac to calculate the cost of posting letters of various weights and sizes to different destinations. Compare the results.
  • Students to investigate postcodes. What are they? Why does Australia Post need them on envelopes? How are postcodes allocated?
  • Students to research, and then mark on a map of Australia, some of Australia Post's rural and remote mail routes. Students to calculate the distance of one of the researched routes.

Student activity sheets

Student activity sheet solutions

History

  • Students to conduct a class research project to find out about the history of Australia's postal system and the development of Australia Post.
  • Students to research the history of Cobb & Co. in Australia in relation to postal services.
  • Students to retell the story of mailman John Conway Bourke's crossing of the flooded Murray River.
  • Students to research and document how, why and when the envelope was invented.
  • Students to imagine they are one of the first settlers in Australia. Students to write a letter home to England and also a reply from England.
  • Students to read "Australia Post – our past" (in the "All about our post" section) and complete the "Australia Post firsts timeline" activity sheet.
  • As a class, discuss what it would have been like to send letters before the development of our modern mail service. What would it have been like to wait nearly a year for a reply to a letter?

Student activity sheets

Science / Technology

  • Students to view the "Follow a parcel – how does it get there?" interactive diagram to discover the journey of a parcel.
  • Students to design and draw a machine to bring mail from their letterbox to the front door.
  • Students to research the technology used to sort letters and parcels. How does this affect the way we address our envelopes?
  • Students to choose one form of postal transport on which to do a mini-project.
  • Students to explore and research early letters, the post horn, street posting boxes, stamp vending machines, mailbags / pouches, and postal helmets and hats. Prepare a project outlining the details of some of these early items and compare them with the postal items of today.
  • Students to research what the early street posting boxes looked like and what they were made from. Students to investigate what post boxes are made of today, discuss why this is so and then design the perfect postie-friendly letterbox.
  • Students to pretend that they have been given the job of designing a new mail bag for their postie to use. What features (for safety, convenience, etc.) might need to be considered? Students to draw the bag and label its features before sharing their ideas with other class members.
  • Students to investigate wax seals. What other alternatives to wax could have been used and why? Brainstorm reasons why we would or would not consider using wax seals on letters today.

The Arts

  • Students to plan and set up a class postal system, including a class stamp design, a class letterbox, a sorting system and daily mail delivery. The Craft templates section contains instructions and templates on how to make your own street posting box.
  • Students to design a stamp for their class or school, using a theme of their choice.
  • As a group, write a play about a day in the life of a postie and perform it to the rest of the class.
  • Students to observe the various letterboxes in their street, or in the area around their school. Sketch one of the more interesting ones.
  • Students to explore stamps on the Australia Post website auspost.com.au/stamps and select their five favourite designs. Students write a short piece explaining what they like about each design.
  • Students to create a "coat of arms" for their own special wax seal.
  • Students to read "All about our post" and complete the "Postcards from the past and into the future" activity sheet.
  • Students to complete the "Living role model stamp" activity sheet.
  • Students to view "The journey of a letter" video online then write a new script for the video with the letter as the narrator. Students can use "The journey of a letter script" as a guide.

Student activity sheets

Health and Physical Education

  • In groups, students to brainstorm some of the hazards the local postie might face every day while delivering the mail. Students to check their letterboxes; the area around them; the front yard; and the area outside the house where the postie rides, walks, or drives, to make sure they are safe for the postie to deliver mail. Students should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • As a class, walk up and down a street and count how many letterboxes you pass after 100 steps, 500 steps and 1000 steps. You may need a pedometer to help you count your steps!
  • Students to play a mail run relay game. Form groups, with half of each group lined up at one end of the playground and half at the other. Students then take it in turns to carry a letter or parcel from one end of the playground to the other and pass it to a waiting friend, who walks, runs, hops, or skips back and passes it to the next person in line, until everyone has had a turn.

LOTE / Languages

  • Students to investigate where the word "letter" comes from. Other words to investigate could be "communication", "email", "post", and "mail". Students to research the origins of these words and any other postal key words they can think of. Why not translate them into some other languages too?
  • Students to try to write and / or read a letter in another language. What problems did they face? How might they find solutions to these problems?
  • Students to participate in a "pen pal" link with a school in which one or more indigenous languages is spoken and taught. Encourage students to exchange letters, stories, or drawings and pictures labelled in their various languages.

Lesson and activity ideas downloadable PDF