Write a Dear Author Letter
Third graders are familiar with writing notes to their friends and thank you notes to Grandma. But how about writing a letter to a favorite author? This letter writing activity gives letter writing an added dimension; it’s not only what you write that’s important, but how you write it, too. This hands-on-activity gives your child practice in using language for social interaction, while strengthening his writing skills. Plus, it’s a great way to engage your child in a discussion about his favorite author and books!
What You Need:
- Your child’s favorite author’s name and a book by this author
- Pencil or pen
- Internet access (optional)
What You Do:
- Discuss with your child some of his favorite books. Ask your child what he would like to say to his favorite author if he was to meet her. Suggest to your child that he write a letter to her!
- Brainstorm ideas about the content of the letter. Your child could ask about when the author started writing, which of the author’s book is her favorite, or what is the author’s favorite character in a specific book. Your child could tell the author why he is his favorite author, which book he prefers, or what types of books he likes to read.
- Review with your child the five parts of a letter (heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature). Remind him where the parts of the letter are placed on the paper. Ask him which punctuation mark follows the greeting and the closing.
- Have your child write a rough draft of the letter using the letter format. Help your child edit the letter checking spelling, sentence and paragraph construction, and capitalization.
- Once you and your child are satisfied with the draft, have your child write the final copy!
- Send the letter to the author in care of the publishing house listed in the author’s book. If the complete address is not shown, you can find it on the publishing house’s website. Whether or not the author responds, your child will have the satisfaction of knowing that he's communicated with his favorite author, and shared his ideas about his favorite books.
Sally Stanley has taught preschool through fifth grade for over 14 years. In addition to teaching, she has created educational materials for kindergarten through eighth grade.