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Grade 2 students exchange letters with their peers in Harmony Grove Elementary School in Framingham

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Through the PenPal Project, students improved their reading, writing, and communication skills by writing letters

For the past five months, students in Grade 2 have been engaged in the Pen Pal Project, an interdisciplinary project that links knowledge and skills they are learning in History, Portuguese, and English. Our students exchanged letters with their peers from Harmony Grove Elementary School in Framingham, Massachusetts, US. Elementary teachers Ms. Lene Silva and Ms. Ana Serejo led the project.

According to Ms. Lene, the goal was to work with and improve students’ reading, writing, and communication skills, allowing them to learn more about letters in the context of historical documents. During classes, topics such as when to use formal and informal language to communicate, choosing the best words to avoid difficulties caused by differences in English and Portuguese, and learning the importance of building historical narratives through letters were addressed.

“Students were able to observe the function of writing when communicating with people we don’t know. They also learned about the reality of children their age who live in another part of the world. They improved their reading and writing skills in English and Portuguese and shared their knowledge about Brasília and Brazil.”

Our students wrote their letters in Portuguese in November 2022 to Harmony Grove Elementary School students. The letters were received in Framingham in December, and the students in the city replied in January 2023. By the end of the school year, our students will write and send more letters in English.

For our Portuguese Language Learning (PLL) teacher, Ms. Ana, the project positively impacted students.

“Our Pen Pal Project was a valuable experience for PLL students because, as foreign students, they had the opportunity to register knowledge in the Portuguese language. They also improved their understanding of vocabulary and letter-writing skills through real-world experience. They were excited about receiving responses from their international pen pals!”



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