The Great Canadian Mail Race

Write  a letter about yourself, describe your: life, hopes, dreams, family, pets, favourite memories etc. Be sure to get below the surface – explain your events and feelings, give examples. Inspire a response – the first one to get a reply will win a TBD prize.

This is the letter I’ll send along with yours. Due Monday.

Dear fellow grade five teacher,

I would like to introduce you to a fun and educational writing activity for your entire class called “The Great Canadian Mail Race”. I am a grade five teacher from Toronto, Ontario. This activity was sent to us from a school in Sherwood Park, Alberta. Prior to that, the activity was passed down from schools in Coaldale, Alberta; Blind River, Ontario; Thunder Bay, Ontario; Riverton, Manitoba; and Leask, Saskatchewan. Wow! what a journey! My class is now participating and we are sending it to you.

Please keep it going around our beautiful country. If you are not interested, please pass it to another


This is how it works:

  1. Read my student’s letter to your class.
  2. Have one of your students respond to my student’s letter by writing back to our school.
  3. Have all of the other students in your class write a letter to any grade five student anywhere in Canada.
  4. The students choose the town or city that they would like to send their letter to.
  5. Address the envelopes as follows:


The Great Canadian Mail Race

Any grade 5 class

Name of school

Name of city or town

Postal code

When sending the letters, place a copy of the letter that you will write (similar to this one), with your student’s letters.

This is the race part- the student that gets the quickest reply is the winner of the race in your class. I hope your students will participate. My class loved this activity and was extremely excited to send their letters to other students in Canada. It is also, an excellent lesson for Language Arts, Social Studies, and Health.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Robert Beattie

Grade five teacher

Gateway P.S.


18 thoughts on “The Great Canadian Mail Race

  1. How did you get the addresses of other schools? I would like to write to French Immersion schools. Is it too late right now? Did you register? Thanks, Leslie

    1. I simply had my students google elementary schools in….
      I offer this opportunity each year as a language exercise, there is no real “race”
      Happy writing

  2. Hi! Did you start this Great Canadian Mail Race? We received a letter this month at my school in Calgary from a student in Toronto! My kids have chosen their schools, written their letters, & I am mailing them tonight. They LOVED this activity! What a cool idea.


    1. I can’t take credit for the Race idea, and you’re right, it’s such a nice activity. I hope you get many replies, sadly my attempts to reach out have not been very successful in the past, but fear not there are others out there that are willing to participate 🙂

      1. My son’s class in Toronto received a letter this week. His whole class is participating. Maybe it is starting to snowball! Thank you for this an excellent idea – it proved to be a fun writing exercise for him.

    1. Be Social…reach out to any grade or age – I think it’s best to start the race just before the holidays, it gives the feeling of a pending gift. There is often a few waiting the students upon their return in January. (A few stamps await the one who receives the first reply – in hopes of fostering a pen – pal). Good luck.

  3. I want to do this with my grade 6 intensive french students next year with a quebec group of students to he’ll inspire my students to speak French. Would I simply get my students to send their letters to quebec schools in Grade 6?

    1. My class just received a letter from a school in Quebec and loved the exercise of translating it the best they could, before asking their French teacher for help 😃
      There are many French immersion schools scattered throughout Toronto, who would love to hear from you.

      1. Any school in Canada…perhaps, you could write to the students in Attawapiskat, Ontario. They are in need of some positive news. Good Luck

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s