I have a teddy bear in my class called Freddie Bear. He's pretty beat up but well loved. Each night a child takes him home with a large index card. They take Freddie on a trip that night to some place they've always wanted to go. Freddie and the child create a postcard from the place they've traveled to, one side a picture and the other side a message for the rest of the class. The message has to include some real information about the place. For example, the postcard might read, Hi everybody, here I am in sunny Spain, did you know that Spain produces more (blank) than any other country? The postcard requires research on the part of the child for the information it contains and the picture. The kids can't wait to take Freddie on an adventure and they're improving their geography and writing skills at the same time. I usually write the first postcard, then laminate them all and bind into a class book. The kids love their adventures with Freddie!