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National Postal Museum

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

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About the Museum
The Collection
Stamp Collecting
Getting Involved
Activity Zone
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Educators : Classroom Resources

Activities and events to supplement student learning. Everything stamp collecting how-to’s and postal computer quiz games to fun kid festivals at the museum.


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Owney the Dog Activities
Introduce Owney the Dog with fun engaging activities and resources.
arrow   Heroes on Stamps
See how teachers have used stamps to inspire creative expression of students in afterschool programs.

Stamp Collecting
The National Postal Museum celebrates the beauty and lore of stamps, showcasing rare stamps and covers from the Museum's renowned collection. A stamp is much more than the physical evidence that postage has been paid. Stamps can be miniature works of art, treasured keepsakes, and rare collectibles.

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Arago: People, Postage and the Post
Arago, the Museum's educational and research Web site, presents the collections in a context-rich setting with full color images and zoom-in capability.

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Activity Zone
The National Postal Museum's Activity Zone offers a variety of activities for kids and adults.

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Social Media Sites
Stay connected with the museum through our social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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Online Exhibits
The Museum is divided into galleries that explore America's postal history from colonial times to the present. Visitors learn how mail has been transported, emphasize the importance of letters, and spotlight the creation and wondrous diversity of postage stamps.

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SI In Your Classroom Magazine
Browse lesson plans by subject area or search by grade levels and keywords. Smithsonian lesson plans emphasize inquiry-based learning using primary sources and museum collections. Each plan is print-friendly and provides you with all the materials you need—photographs, reproductions, handouts, activities, suggested strategies, standards information, and additional online resources.

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SI In Your Classroom Lesson Plan: Learning from Letters
Students evaluate mail as a mode of communication, create a mail system in the classroom and “send” letters, and analyze letters for information about the senders. A mathematics activity even has students “decode” a barcode into the ZIP code it represents. This issue commemorates the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

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SI In Your Classroom Lesson Plan: Portraits, Visual and Written
The lessons in this Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the life and work of an American author, Louisa May Alcott or Samuel Clemens. The materials may be used in a full unit on Little Women, Tom Sawyer, or Huckleberry Finn. A children’s biography (Cornelia Meigs’s Invincible Louisa or William Anderson’s River Boy, for example) might complement the autobiographical piece. Or you might adapt the lesson ideas to the study of another author.

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Celebrate Owney in Your Community
The release of the Owney commemorative postage stamp is a great opportunity to celebrate stamps, mail, and American history. Whether you are a postmaster, part of a stamp club, or scout leader, you can help kids get into the fun by planning an Owney celebration in your community. This page will help you do it!

Postcards – The “Write Stuff”
Over the decades, the practice of sending vacation postcards to friends and family evolved and continues to be popular.

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