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Curriculum

a student sitting at a table writing on paper

Curriculum guides offer standards-based lesson plans and materials to aid in the exploration of museum themes and skills within the classrooms.


Early Elementary

a cartoon of a child opening a box containing a plane, train, po box, and other things

Postal Pack for Elementary School Students

Collection of illustrated activity sheets that teach about postal transportation history, and encourage letter writing and an appreciation of stamps and historic letters.


Owney the Dog- a cartoon dog sitting on a mail bag

Owney the Dog

This interdisciplinary curriculum guide is developed for 2nd grade classrooms with additional sections to support students with special needs.  Lessons are grouped into four themes: Maps, Jobs, Tags, and Our Stories.


Upper Elementary

an image of Delivery of the Keys fresco by Perugino

Critical Thinking Skills through Vatican Stamps

Designed to support Catholic School curriculum, this guide the Postal Museum’s Vatican stamp collection provides an introduction to the wealth of visual resources to illustrate papal history, biblical stories, and saints.  Other teachers may be inspired to use similar thinking strategies on stamps from any country around the world.


Social Security Act 22 cent stamp with silhouettes of people on a blue background

Many states and districts are adding the teaching of disability studies to education requirements.  Reference this guide to get ideas and guidelines for best practices in teaching about the history and activisim of people who have disabilities.


Design It! Student Stamps for America

A set of units in this interdisciplinary curriculum brings together history and visual arts through stamps.  Students will learn about the history of stamps, the rules for selecting a subject, how to design a stamp, and apply artistic skills in designing their own stamp!


a mosaic of a Native American wearing a headdress

Stamp Mural Mosaics

Stamps are exciting, educational tools! Using stamps, you can explore other countries, learn about history, and experience art. The activities on this web page will show you and your students how to use cancelled stamps for a variety of creative projects.


a 4 cent stamp of a statue of Abraham Lincoln

Stamp Stories

This simple lesson plan explains how teachers can use stamps in the classroom to help assess student knowledge at the end of a unit. The topic is flexible and can be on anything strongly associated with images that have been on stamps. We have two versions available here: one on Lincoln and one on Westward Expansion.


V-Mail- an illustrated World War II soldier

Victory Mail: Elementary

These activities provide a creative way to teach writing skills - letter writing for elementary and middle school - and about World War II as well as writing for high school students. In conjunction with the National Postal Museum’s online exhibition Victory Mail along with textbooks and other resources already in use in the classroom, these materials will help students understand aspects of  patriotism during wartime, and the significance of personal correspondence by focusing on the efforts made by civilians on the home front during the war. Students will likely find learning about V-Mail an interesting way to engage in writing and social studies lessons.


Middle School

Moving the Mail West

Moving the Mail West!

Primary sources and secondary sources come together in this web curriculum and game to teach the history of communication in the American West. Combine website interactives, online collections, interdisciplinary lesson plans, and flash-based webgame to inspire your students to become active in their historical study of the Pony Express.


Pen Friends- two individuals embracing

Pen Friends Across the Nation: An Intergenerational Letter Writing Project

A guide to setting up a writing partnership between classroom students and older adults in the same community. Use local cultural landmarks to develop an intergenerational letter-writing program. The project involves an exchange of three letters which concludes in a meeting, if possible.


V-Mail- an illustrated World War II soldier

Victory Mail: Middle School

These activities provide a creative way to teach writing skills - letter writing for elementary and middle school - and about World War II as well as writing for high school students. In conjunction with the National Postal Museum’s online exhibition Victory Mail along with textbooks and other resources already in use in the classroom, these materials will help students understand aspects of  patriotism during wartime, and the significance of personal correspondence by focusing on the efforts made by civilians on the home front during the war. Students will likely find learning about V-Mail an interesting way to engage in writing and social studies lessons.


High School

We Were There- a stylized brown and black American flag

We Were There: Letters From the Battle Front

Activity book and resource guide that uses historic letters, envelopes and commemorative stamps from American wars to engage students in historic analysis.
Download Guide (21.0 MB)


Letters from Home- a black sticker on a white background

Letters From Home: An Exhibit-Building Project for the Advanced ESL Classroom

Enrichment materials for the advanced English as a second language (ESL) classroom. Students use letters to build language and communication skills. Contains activities to illustrate the dynamic power of personal letters and create an exhibition of letters.