Philatelists in the Classroom
01 - Give individual or small packets of stamps as a reward to the students especially during National Stamp Collecting Month.
02 - Design a Black History collage using postage stamps. Other topics may be used for collages.
03 - When exploring various countries, give each student a representative stamp to add to their collection or have them find stamps that represent various countries.
04 - Convert the face value of a stamp into United States currency.
05 - Classify plants and animals in a stamp mixture.
06 - Establish a stamp trading center in your classroom for student collectors.
07 - Add stamps to a wall map or poster as you tour the world.
08 - Have students select a stamp and write a story about the scene, animal, person or event depicted on the stamp.
09 - Select a stamp from a world wide mixture of stamps and write a report about the country that issued the stamp.
10 - Design a poster for a new stamp scheduled for release later in the year.
11 - Select a stamp that is scheduled for release later in the year. Draw a design (cachet) related to the stamps theme on an envelope. When the stamp is issued, place the stamp on the envelope and mail it to the "first day city" where the stamp was officially issued. Request that the stamp be canceled on the first day of issue.
12 - Develop your own inter-school postal system. Create postal stationary for the students to use to write to their peers and/or staff. Have a contest for the best design for the postal stationary stamp. Hold an official ceremony to unveil the new design and/or the first day of operation.
13 - Select a stamp featuring a famous person such as a Black American and write a short biography.
14 - Select stamps featuring historical events and create a time-line.
15 - Use a perforation gauge to measure the perforations for each stamp in a stamp mixture. Determine the mode, range, median and mean for the perforations within the mixture. Repeat the same activity for a specific country. Graph your results.
16 - Search the web for other schools who might be interested in setting up a pen pal exchange with your class the old fashion way -- by writing a letter and sending it through the postal service. If you are sending to a foreign country, be sure to check for the proper postage rates and try to use commemoratives on your snail mail. The students might want to include in their letters a brief note about the topic featured on the stamp. This is a great way to enhance communication skills while building a stamp collection.
17 - Take your students through the higher order levels of thinking by using Bloom's Taxonomy for your stamp project.
#1- Knowledge: Define "stamp".
#2- Comprehension: In the student's own words, explain "what" a stamp is and draw a picture to illustrate their findings.
#3- Application: Use their prior knowledge about Black History-related stamps and cachets to "show"[demonstrate] they can create original Black History-related cachets.
#4- Analysis: Clarify their findings, compare & contrast their findings in small groups with each other.
#5- Synthesis: Design an original stamp to go along with whatever theme they may be studying and create a poem to go with it.
#6-Evaluation: Have students create a scoring rubric that includes points given for each of the above 5 steps.
18 - Country Collage: Photocopy or hand-sketch on paper different countries such as the map of Africa, Latin America, Mexico, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, or the United States (with States). Have the students find and paste stamps for that country (countries) selected over the photocopied or hand-sketched map. Students may work alone or assign groups of students to work cooperatively on an assigned country, or state. Once the entire World has been completed with the stamps from each continent, trim around the contour of each continent, glue and make your World Map, or U.S. Map, or Country Map on poster board.
19 - See how many words of at least three letters can be found in the word "Philatelist" or "Stamp Collector."
20 - Coat of Arms - Before you begin the activity design a simple shield for the coat of arms containing six parts (leave space above the shield for a small photograph of the child). Duplicate enough copies for each child. You will also need a mixture of stamps, crayons, colored pencils, tongs and hinges. Instruct the students to select six stamps that tell something about themselves, or relate to something that interests them. Use the hinges to mount their stamps in place on their coat of arms and then write a brief statement below the stamp explaining its importance. Add color as needed and mount the child's photograph above the coat of arms. Ask the children to "present" (explain) their coat of arms to the class. Display each coat of arms for the parents to view when they visit.
21 - Introduce a new unit of study by giving students a small packet of stamps related to the topic.
22 - Giving a report? Use a first day cover or stamp as a visual aid when introducing your topic.
23 - Use a large map as a bulletin board and collect stamps from all the countries around the world! Have students find information regarding that country and that particular stamp.
24 - Use the stamps as a means to motivate the learning of United States and world geography. When a student demonstrates that he/she can identify the place of origin of the stamp on an unmarked map, the stamp is given to that student as a prize.
25 - Teach students about the President's of the United States by introducing them to the wonderful hobby of stamp collecting. Separate your class into small groups of three or four. Have each group select a stamp (with a U.S. President on it), do research online and in the library. Students will then write a sentence or paragraph about the following: place and year of birth, schooling, what age did president take office, how old was he, what number was he in the line of presidents, education, personality, hobbies, political achievements, place and year of death and any other interesting information found about their assigned president. Each team will present their projects in class.
26 - Create a stamp collecting club. Ask local stamp stores to sponsor your efforts and donate any stamps and/or supplies that they might not need. I have used this idea with great success. You could provide the dealer a small free ad space in a bulletin or yearbook.
27 - Design a zoo on a poster. Have the students select animals, represented on stamps, to add to the poster. Before adding the animal to the zoo, have the student report on the animals needs including space, food, water, shelter, temperature and light.
28 - Design a arboretum on a poster. Have the students select trees and shrubs, represented on stamps, to be added to the poster. Before adding the tree or shrub to the arboretum, have the student report on the plants needs including space, soil conditions, water, temperature and light.
29 - Use standard stamp catalogs to identify stamps in a packet.
30 - Make a crossword puzzle using common philatelic words and terms.
31 - Mount stamps on index cards and have the students attempt to identify as many as they can in a timed event.
32 - Collect postmarks from around your state, the United States, or the World.
33 - Use stamps from an inexpensive mixture to create craft projects. Make album covers, pencil holders, bookmarks, and gift or holiday cards.
34 - Students can use computer clip art to make a Topical Stamp Album. Using any of the free (or inexpensive) clip art images found in many computer programs students will make topical album pages (i.e. - Dogs, Cats, Dinosaurs, Hispanic Americans, Famous Black Americans etc). Have students find and mount stamps according to their topics.
35 - Have a treasure hunt! Give each student a list of topics to look for on stamps and let them go through a box of stamps. They keep what they find. Finding special topics (like telephone, sun, crest, etc.) Teaches observation, classification and comparison skills.
36 - Have students to create an Event Cover for a school event or for the upcoming anniversary of a historical event.
37 - You are a cachetmaker, create a hand colored cachet about one of the Black History-related stamps.
38 - Create an all-purpose cachet. Find stamps that could be used with your original cachet design.
39 - Create a hand drawn cachet for one of the stamps that is scheduled for release later in the year. Students will have to do some research before creating their cachets. The Black History-related stamps to be released in 1998 are:
40 - Create and an original handmade cachet about a famous Black American found on this "Stamp on Black History" website.
Stamp on Black History Home Page Menu