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MYSTERY MAIL: A Super-Engaging Inferencing Activity (reading foundation skill)

MYSTERY MAIL: A Super-Engaging Inferencing Activity (readi
Grade Levels
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Product Rating
Teachers Pay Teachers
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31.63 MB   |   13 pages

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Please visit my daily blog, The Clutter-Free Classroom {www.CFClassroom.com} for daily tips, photos, and ideas to organize and manage your classroom. This product was featured on 10/3/12.

Inferencing is such an important skill to develop in order to be effective readers and critical thinkers. I wanted to create an activity that would engage my students and anchor their learning. I also wanted to provide them with a fun, interactive understanding of what it means to infer so that when I discussed inferencing in language arts lessons I could always relate it to this project.

The excitement level in my classroom was through the roof when a new letter would appear. It was so fun for me to see how quickly their skills developed. By the third envelope the quality of their inferences was so much higher than when we opened the first. I used the materials from this packet to create a visual display in the classroom that could be used as a reference for the students in the future.

This packet includes the following:
*a tracking sheet to organize the letter packets
*two versions of a cover letter to send out to request "mystery mail" (one version is written from a single teacher/classroom and the other can be sent by a grade level team)
*a letter writing template
*templates for creating a class chart and recording inferences
*2 recording sheets for students to make their own inferences

It’s very easy to prepare, manage and execute. Here’s what I did:

1 Start by making a list of staff members you want to include. I teach third and invited all of their former teachers and classroom aides, the principal, specialist teachers and other staff members that they know well and come in contact with often to participate.

2 Prepare a “packet” for each of them by simply securing the blank letter template, the cover sheet and an envelope together with a paperclip. Distribute them to the people on your list. I included lots of people because I wanted to create stations at the end of the week, but you could just ask 3-4 and model this as a whole class lesson.

3 I copied the header and the 3 object pages onto colored paper and created a visual display to record our thoughts. When the first few letters arrived I removed one object at a time and attached it to the display. We recorded our inferences with each object. After all three were displayed we concluded who the letter was from based on our inferencing skills.

4 Finally I read the letter and revealed the sender. So. Much. Fun!

OPTIONAL
5 You could simply do the above as your lesson as it was highly effective. I opted to continue because their interest level was so high. I provided each student with a copy of the inferencing page and as I revealed each item they illustrated and labeled it the boxes at the top of the page. After all three items were revealed, they recorded their own inferenced thoughts and ideas about the sender based on the object and predicted who sent it.

6 Again because my class was so motivated by this project I decided to take it a step further. I created an “inferencing workshop” by placing envelopes and recording sheets at different stations. I numbered each envelope and students enjoyed using their inferencing skills independently. This makes a great activity for early finishers.
7 As an added twist, you could continue the fun throughout the year by creating envelopes as if they were sent by celebrities or characters from books. You could also have the students create an envelope. My class was chomping at the bit to make their own envelopes and let their friends infer their identity.

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Total Pages
13
Answer Key
Does Not Apply
Teaching Duration
N/A

Average Ratings

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506 ratings

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On  April 18, 2014Lori Sanders (TpT Seller) said:
Can't wait to try this with my class!! Recommend!
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On  April 17, 2014Brandi Plumlee (TpT Seller) said:
Can't wait to use this!
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On  April 16, 2014,  Melissa S. said:
Very creative!!!!
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On  April 16, 2014Karla's Kreations (TpT Seller) said:
What a great idea!
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On  April 16, 2014Kim Harbert (TpT Seller) said:
Great product!
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On  April 15, 2014,  Julio Cesar D. said:
It seems to be a great tool. I think this product will help my students and I.

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!
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On  April 14, 2014,  LaWanna B. said:
Great inferencing activity!
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didn't like for 1st
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On  April 10, 2014Amanda Fluty (TpT Seller) said:
Great resource!
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On  April 10, 2014,  Elisa C. said:
Can't wait to try this!
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On  April 9, 2014,  Stephanie W. said:
FUN
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On  April 8, 2014,  Samantha B. said:
I started this week and my class went nuts when we got our first Mystery Mail today. 2 more where in my mailbox for tomorrow!!
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On  April 7, 2014,  Buyer said:
My students loved this! I had teachers from other grade levels do a bag and the students had to guess. It was a great activity!!
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On  April 7, 2014,  Tracey S. said:
Superior idea and product. I've never felt more successful teaching inferences to second graders. They GOT it and continue to refer back to our letters. A new letter can arrive from any character (literature books, read alouds, etc.) that I have written as the character - and we're off again on a review lesson about inferencing. Superior.
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On  April 6, 2014,  Buyer said:
EVERY single teacher should try this one! The kids had so much fun with it! I extended it a bit... each child is taking home an envelope and a letter template to complete... to see it their classmates can figure out who they are :) EXCELLENT resource!!
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On  April 5, 2014Teaching Bug (TpT Seller) said:
Can't wait to use this in my classroom.
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On  April 5, 2014,  Buyer said:
I can't wait to do this with my students! They love getting mail.
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It looks amazing! So much fun!
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I love hands on activities for my students and I am excited to do this one with my kids!
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On  April 2, 2014,  Buyer said:
What a fantastic and fun way to teach inference!
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We are having so much fun with this!! :)
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On  March 31, 2014,  Buyer said:
Great idea! I'm using it right now with my 4th grade students. They can't wait to find out if their inference is correct. So great to see them really interested in this.
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On  March 31, 2014,  Angela R. said:
Thanks!
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On  March 29, 2014,  Elizabeth L. said:
!
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Love it!
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Awesome!!!!!!!
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On  March 26, 2014,  Kristen M. said:
Fun idea that worked!
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Great resource
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another great resource.
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On  March 24, 2014TheEngagedTeacher (TpT Seller) said:
Awesome resource, thanks!
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On  March 23, 2014,  Buyer said:
This is such a great idea! I love it and am excited to implement this unit in my classroom. I know it will engage my students' interest. Thanks SO much!
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On  March 22, 2014,  Buyer said:
This is a wonderful activity for my 3rd and 4th grade Title 1 students to do when we discuss inferences! I will definitely use this!
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On  March 20, 2014,  Sarah G. said:
Wow! Can't wait to start this with my kids. They are going to love it!
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On  March 20, 2014,  Buyer said:
What fun!
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On  March 19, 2014The Weekly Hive (TpT Seller) said:
KIDS LOVED THIS!
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On  March 18, 2014Kathy Kurowski (TpT Seller) said:
Fantastic! Cannot wait to use it!
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On  March 18, 2014,  Jennifer T. said:
I am starting this activity with my kids today. They got the first "mystery mail" from me yesterday so I could teach them how to work through it. They were so excited!! What a fantastic idea!!
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On  March 17, 2014,  Tonya J. said:
Thank you
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Thanks
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On  March 16, 2014Brigid Lane (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you!
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On  March 16, 2014,  Buyer said:
Inferring is such a difficult skill to teach and for students to understand! What a great activity to help students understand the concept. I can't wait to put it together to try with my students. Thank you!
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On  March 15, 2014,  Jill W. said:
Thank you! I love this!
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On  March 15, 2014,  Kathryn K. said:
Great! Thank you!
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On  March 14, 2014,  Andrea C. said:
Looks interesting!
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On  March 14, 2014,  Lisa A. said:
Great! Thanks!
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On  March 14, 2014,  Jacqueline V. said:
Wonderful, thanks!!
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On  March 12, 2014,  Buyer said:
Such a wonderful idea! My kids loved this activity.
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On  March 10, 2014,  Buyer said:
excellent materials!
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On  March 9, 2014Katie Phillips (TpT Seller) said:
This is so great for inferencing =)
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Product Questions & Answers

On  January 1, 2013Teaching Elementary (TpT Seller) asked:
I am interested in this but have searched in vain for the blog post about it and can't see much info on the preview. Can you direct me to the blog post?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 10, 2013Clutter-Free Classroom answered:
Hi!
Thank you for your interest in this product. Below is a link to my blog post about it.

http://clutterfreeclassroom.blogspot.com/search?q=mystery+mail

Thank you!
:) Jodi from www.CFClassroom.com
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MYSTERY MAIL: A Super-Engaging Inferencing Activity (readi