My class recently began writing to my sister's preschool class in Germany. She had recommended a book which I read to my class and they were interested about her and her class, so we took a photo of ourselves and e-mailed it along with some questions the children wanted to know to her. If I had this to redo, I would have begun this at the beginning of the year so that the children would have had more time to interact, but alas, it is our last week of school. I plan to start much earlier next year. Some things that you can incorporate with this activity is finding where your penpal lives on a map, taking pictures of some of your artwork and sending, or actually sending something to each other through snail mail. Since my penpal was my sister, I am not really sure how to find a class to write to, but my suggestion would be just go online and find a teacher who teaches the same or similar age group and ask if they would be interested. Facebook maybe or search blogs. Allow the kids to come up with things they want to know or something they are interested in to ask. Some examples of questions you can ask if your children are having a hard time getting started are "What does your classroom/school look like?" "What are some things you do everyday at school?" "Do you have a class pet and can we see a photo?" Get them excited so they will anticipate the next letter. Have fun!
I just wanted to add that it would be a good idea to put all the printed letters from your pen pal and copies of the letters you sent along with photos in a binder in chronological order so that the children can go back to it throughout the year on their own. They may have you read it to them or just want to look at the photos to get ideas of other questions they want to ask. Also, a great idea to do with your globe is pictured below except we would use small dot stickers instead of push pins to show different places you talk about in class including where your pen pal lives. This is a great geography activity.