I was able to get all of my postcards for half-price (thank you, Chamber of Commerce!), and one afternoon when we had a few extra minutes, the students stamped and address-labeled the postcards. So if you're in the exchange and notice that your stamp is upside down... I promise it wasn't me, haha!
Then, we made an I Wonder/I Learned chart. I wanted the students to go on the trip ready to ask good questions. They also completed their own Wonder/Learned chart. Our post office is about two blocks from school, so we walked there together. We brought our postcards so we could make sure they made it into the mail!
The wonderful man at the post office was very patient with the students and answered many questions that he probably thought were crazy, such as: can girls and boys both deliver mail? What do you do with mail that you can't deliver if the address is too far away? He took us on a tour of the back area, which I thought was really interesting! I forgot to take pictures until we got outside to the lifting device, which he let the kids ride on as he lifted them up and down.
Everyone also got to sit in the mail truck!
Lastly, we officially mailed off our postcards. We took turns dropped the postcards in the slot and watching them fall into the basket. You would've thought this was the most fun thing they had ever done. They probably could have sat there all day watching mail come in!
And the post office was also nice enough to give each student a coloring book about the states! The kids were just beside themselves with excitement.
Overall, it was a great day and an awesome field trip (not only because it was free)! I definitely recommend it if you're able to go to yours. The students learned a LOT and I think it really kicked off the exchange well. :)