Penpal Exchange

Penpal Exchange


This activity is part of our RECmondo Project with which we intend to carry out a documented trip through various countries in Asia, Oceania and Europe, providing children in different places with the necessary resources to discover the reality of their everyday lives. To achieve this, the children will record one day in their lives with a video camera, without adult intervention and in complete freedom. Afterwards, we will interview them so that together with the videos they have made we can create audiovisual material.
Then, we will get in touch with children from the different countries visited by means of letters written by the children themselves, which is the goal of Mondopencil.


o Improve knowledge of the geographical setting in which other cultures are found as well as their customs, educational and social reality, gastronomy, etc.
o Foster respect and tolerance towards different ways of living and values
o Break down prejudices about other people and places in the world which have been acquired during childhood
o Encourage interest in learning foreign languages – children will see and experience just how useful they are as a tool for communicating with other people.
o Offer tools to schools for them to develop international correspondence as an educational activity


Aimed at school-aged boys and girls. Voluntary collaboration of teaching staff offering to coordinate the activity will be essential.
The childen’s ages may vary between:
– PRIMARY: from 8 to 12 year- olds.
– SECONDARY: from 12 to 15 year-olds.


Correspondence will be carried out in the following way:
The tasks that the teaching staff/interested party must carry out so as to develop the project with their pupils are listed below:
a. Choose, after a consensus has been reached with their group, the school with which the letter exchange will take place (selected from a list of the educational institutions visited in countries in Asia, Oceania and Europe, provided by Cultural Planet.)
b. Three educational institutions in order of preference will be chosen, so as to ensure that all schools receive at least one request.
c. After the school assigned has been confirmed by Cultural Planet each pupil will write his or her letter.
d. These letters will be sent to Cultural Planet who will send them on to the assigned school. After the first cards have been sent, correspondence will take place directly from school to school. The school address or the name of the teacher in charge may be given for reception of the package of letters.
e. An exchange of at least two or three letters per school year ought to be maintained

By participating in this project the school can, in turn, be chosen as the recipient for other educational institutions. If this happens, the teacher/ coordinator of the activity who will be entrusted with ensuring that the pupils duly answer the letters will be notified.

It is possible to choose more than one school per school year if the teacher and pupils so wish.

In principle, we recommend developing the project in language classes (English or French) to overcome possible language barriers. Nevertheless, no teacher who is interested will be excluded from participating.

As the number of children/senders with recipients will not always coincide, some of these will have to write more than one letter or they will be done in pairs, whatever is deemed more appropriate .That is, if one class has 20 pupils and another 26, how would the correspondence be carried out? Well, some of the pupils in the first class will have to write two letters. In this case the teacher will photocopy some letters and 6 pupils (in this specific case) will have to write two letters and be in contact with two pupils from the second class.

The schools with greater financial resources may encourage those with scarce funding to participate in the scheme by providing international stamps, envelopes or international reply coupons. In this way no school will be excluded from the interchange on economic grounds.
Some pupils may wish to include a gift in their letters, but we would advise them against doing so. Some simple items such as photographs, postcards, drawings or bookmarks are acceptable, but nothing else, as, if some pupils receive but others don’t, jealousy or even petty theft may arise, especially in schools with fewer resources.
Under no circumstances will sending money be allowed if the correspondence is with a school with few resources.


As school calendars vary in different countries, correspondence must take place in term time for both groups. This may continue in the following year after the holidays.
It would be a good idea for the teachers to correspond by email in order to organize the frequency of the interchange: they could start by deciding how often to send letters each school year (the minimum, as stated before, would be two or three times, but the final decision can be changed).


1.- A network among all the participating teachers will be set up so that they can keep in touch, ask questions, share news and receive continuous feedback from all the participating schools. To start with, we will create a community on Google+.

2.- At the end of the school year, and the periods set among the schools for developing the activity, the teacher in charge will write a brief report, which will be sent to Cultural Planet by letter or mail (according to the teachers’ requests) which may be responded to in the same way.

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