Children who are beginning to read often believe that they can only read their special "reading" materials at school. This unit is designed to dispel that belief and focus reading instruction on reading real things, such as envelopes, letters, invitations, and postcards. Children love getting letters and packages in the mail. They are motivated to read and understand the mail that they get. So this unit uses materials from the mailbox as a focus point for beginning reading instruction. Activities are provided that facilitate the development of oral language, phonemic awareness, print awareness and syntactic awareness. Skills are integrated as students begin recognizing letters and words and forming letter/sound associations. The unit requires reading to, with, and by learners, with an emphasis on comprehension. As learners begins to read, they must also begin to write, so suggestions for real writing activities are included as well. Teacher information pages and reproducible patterns and activity sheets help children begin to read things that come in the mail: envelopes, letters, invitations, postcards, and packages. Special Features: skills checklist, bibliography, parent letter, learning center ideas, picture and word cards, original poems, plus two reproducible beginning readers (What's in the Mailbox?, An Invitation) with teaching ideas and reproducible word cards. Pleasing, instructive line art illustrations throughout. All 64 pages perforated for easy removal.