Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Outgoing Mail: Red Pandas

I'm going to try to share a little more about the letters I send to my kids! Most of the time, I send online letters- it's easier on my hands and a lot faster since I have so many correspondents! Last week I put together a letter about red pandas. I have written to my kids about my favorite animal in the past, but I want to try to send more informational letters- and I like the fact that Hannah's letters about similar topics get such fun responses! The nice thing about sending an informational letter is that you can put one together without a whole lot of prep. I know that some sponsors stress about sending letters because they aren't sure what to write, and spend a lot of time just staring at the paper (or screen) trying to come up with something they think is interesting! But if you're putting together an informational article, you can do a lot of copy/pasting and add a little bit to it. ;)

For this letter, I decided to write about red pandas. I've been putting together a list of animals I like or find interesting, for future letters! I will also add to this list as my kids (hopefully) write to me and tell me which animals they'd like to learn about. I just love red pandas- they're so cute! I used my library's research database for children (grolier online) to look up encyclopedia articles on red pandas, and chose one that was written for level 2 or 3 readers (they have more information than level 1, but aren't as involved and wordy as level 4.) I basically copy/pasted the entire article, then read through it and edited it a bit. I changed the wording on maybe two different sentences, and added in my own thoughts on the animal. Then I used google to find a few cute pictures! At the end I added my standard paragraph about praying for my kids (and included a prayer request) and voila! A letter was ready to send!

I want to tell you about one of my favorite animals. It is called the red panda. Many people have heard of the bear called the giant panda- it is black and white. But red pandas do not look much like giant pandas! It looks more like a fox. It has a beautiful red coat, a long fluffy tail, and a pointed snout. The Chinese call it "hyn-ho", which means "fox of fire." Red pandas confused European explorers when they first found them. But American explorers thought they were a kind of raccoon (an American animal with a striped tail.) Because of this, the giant panda, which is really a bear, was also once considered as a strange raccoon. Today it is known that the two "pandas" are not closely related.The red panda eats mostly plants, especially bamboo shoots. It is usually active at night or early in the morning. Days are for sleeping. Red pandas sleep in trees! They are good climbers and can jump more than 5 feet (1.5 meters) between branches. But they are clumsy on the ground and move slowly and walk a bit like a duck! Red pandas make small, sharp whistling sounds like those of birds. If they are attacked, they stand up, growl, and spit, like an angry cat. They are very peaceful and rather playful. But their very sharp claws and pointy teeth prevent them from being good pets. Red pandas live among bamboo forests near the Himalayan mountains in Asia. When female red pandas have babies, the babies stay with the mothers for about a year before going to live on their own. Red pandas live about 13 years, and they are an endangered species. This means that there are not many red pandas left in the wild. The main reason they are endangered is because the forests where they live are being cut down. 
I really like red pandas- I think they are so cute! We do not have red pandas at the zoo in my city, but I have visited another zoo that had red pandas. They are one of my very favorite animals, because they are so adorable. I have also seen videos of them on the computer. They enjoy playing in the snow, and they look very cute hopping around! I am sending you some pictures of red pandas so you can see what they look like. What are some animals you would like to learn about? I would be happy to send you a letter telling you about them! And I might learn something new, too! 
I am praying for you every day. Do you have any prayer requests for me? I would like to ask you to pray for my brother in law  Jonathan. This week he celebrated his 16th birthday! We are so thankful for his life. 
I hope to hear from you soon!
Love and hugs, 

If you like red pandas, you are welcome to copy the text of my letter and tweak it to suit your needs! :) 


  1. Great letter! I didn't know anything about them either so I learned something new :) I wrote to my kids about humpback whales recently and included some pictures I'd taken... I'm curious to see what the responses will be!

    1. I'm keeping a list of animals that I'd like to write about- whales just made the list! And how cool that you've seen them before! I'm jealous!

  2. I am SO saving this letter for down the road!! I have a list of animals to write about too! I'm trying to get through my kids' animal requests before moving onto some others :)


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