Reading a Note


  • To use writing to communicate
  • To recognize that words have meaning and that print has a variety of purposes

A note in an envelope; box, stickers, clothing; paper envelopes
Prepare ahead by addressing the envelope to the group and writing a note to the children with an exciting message. Example: "Dear Boys and Girls, Today you are going to have a surprise. Look in the box by the door."

Literature Suggestion
Read Milly and Tilly: The Story of a Town Mouse and a Country Mouse by Kate Summers, or any other book with a letter or note.


Ask children to pretend they work for the post office, delivering letters. After a few minutes of imaginative play, talk about letters: how they get to our homes, and why people write them. (You may want to provide a box for a mailbox, stickers for stamps, and a cloth bag for a mailbag.)


  • Have children read and examine the letter in the book. Discuss why someone wrote it.
  • Hold up the envelope with the letter you prepared and read the name or names on it. Ask children to guess what is in the envelope (a letter) and to recall the purpose of a letter (to send a message, to communicate with others). Ask children to guess what the message might be in this letter. Ask how people know who sent a letter. (The sender signs a name.)
  • Open the envelope and read the note to the group. Talk about what it says. Pass the note around, so children can see the letters and enjoy touching and "reading" the note.
Provide paper and envelopes. Have the children dictate their own short letters for you to write. Then address the envelopes. Read the letters back to the children and have them sign their names, fold the paper, and put the letters in envelopes.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can tell why people write notes to send messages to one another.
  • In Process - Child cannot fully explain that people write notes to send messages to one another.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child cannot explain or acknowledge that people write notes to send messages to one another.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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