Email Exercise

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Purpose : To familiarize students with using the campus email system to communicate with each other.  Secondarily, to generate for each student a list of the email addresses of all the class members.  (Can simultaneously be used to discuss Netiquette issues, genre issues such as narration/description/etc., multiple perspectives, an so forth.)

1)     Have each student log on to a computer, and call up the campus email system.
2) Ask each student to open a new email, addressed to the person on their right, and write one sentence that begins a paragraph of description (or narration, or whatever you as an instructor decide is the direction you wish to take the exercise.)
3) Have the students put their own email address at the top of the body of the message, then send it (to the person on their right.)
4) Have each student then open the new mail they have just received, and cut and paste the body of the message into a new piece of email, addressed once again to the person on their right.  They should then add one more sentence of description/narration/etc., insert their own email address just below the first person's, and send it on.
5) Repeat this process until each person has received the paragraph that he or she began, with their own email address at the top.  Ask for a couple to be read out loud.
6) Ask students to save the final message, as it now contains a complete list of their classmates' email addresses.
Total suggested time : 30 minutes, if possible - it usually takes more like 40-45.
Note : This exercise can get extremely silly.  Be prepared for muffled laughter, backchat, and so forth as students are writing.  Also, I strongly suggest the instructor drift around the room and keep an eye on what is being written, as some students may try to slip in inappropriate/offensive language or content.