Monday, October 10, 2011

National Postal Museum and Owney the Dog

Lately I have been tweeting with a dead dog. I really hate to put it that way, but it's true. Owney is a, ahem, permanent resident of the National Postal Museum here in Washington D.C. I first learned about Owney when my colleague ( @booksandbytes ) told me about a book called Owney the Postal Pooch by Mona Kirby.   Since my 2nd graders were soon to visit the Postal Museum, we did a quick Owney Overview and I sent them on their way. The students returned having had a wonderful time. They even brought me letters about how they wished I could have come with them (HINT, HINT) and a little book of stamps assembled just for me ( #whyilovemyjob ).

Who knew that Owney has his own twitter account so in a weird reversal of dog v. owner, I started following him! In time, I met his er, human, via twitter and then via telephone. We have some really great plans in store for our 2nd graders over the next few weeks and I'm very excited to introduce them to Owney and the wonderful world of stamps and letter writing.

Here are some of the resources we'll be using in the upcoming weeks:

Nate the Great and the Sticky Case
by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

 Nate the Great is indeed involved in yet another pancake-inducing mystery.  This time it's a missing stamp.  Nate reliably leaves a note for his mother and then is off to interview the usual suspects including the four Hex cats.  This edition as a number of wonderful stamp-related activities and information.  We'll be using this book to introduce stamps in general.

Owney the Mail-Pouch Pooch
by Mona Kirby

This was the book first introduced to me by @booksandbytes last year.  The students were fascinated by this true story, his tags, and of course they wanted to know if Owney was still alive.  Uh.  No.  Depending on the age of your students you may wish to tell them that Owney's recent makeover.  Or not.
This year we'll look at another book that I have yet to read "A Lucky Dog:  Owney U.S. Rail Mail Mascot" by Dirk Wales. 

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