Dear Student...Love, Your Pencil
- Students will be able to write and address a letter.
- Students will be able to address an envelope.
- Gather students together and read aloud The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.
- Hold up the book and ask students to think about why they think the crayons chose to write letters to Duncan instead of talking to him directly. Allow a few moments for discussion.
- Explain that writing a letter allows us to carefully think about what we want to say and put our thoughts into words that we can share with another person.
- Tell the class that today they will get to practice writing their own letters from the perspective of a classroom supply.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Project the Dear Student: Letter Template worksheet on the board.
- Explain that all letters have some things in common. Tell students that all letters should include the date (point to the date), a greeting (point to the greeting), a body (point to the body of the letter) where the writer shares his/her thinking, and a closing (point to the closing). Point out that it is important to use neat handwriting when writing a letter -- this ensures that your reader can read the letter.
- Use one of the letters from The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt to point out the different parts of a letter.
- Display the Make an Envelope worksheet on the board and go over the steps to address the envelope (sender, addressee, stamp).
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Hold up a piece of classroom supplies, such as a pencil.
- Ask the students to think about what a pencil might want to tell a second grader: What are pencils good at? What are they not so good at?
- Record student ideas on the board.
- Using student responses, compose a letter to a student (or address it to your class) from a pencil.
- Read the letter aloud with your class.
- Model how to complete the Make an Envelope worksheet if the sender were a pencil. Point out where to write the sender’s information (top left), the recipient’s information (middle), and where to put the stamp (top right).
- Display the Checklist for Letter Writing and ask students to point out each section on your model letter. Explain that using the checklist will help students remember the different parts of a letter.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Ask the students to think of a classroom supply that they would like to write a letter from. Have students give a thumbs-up when they have thought of their supply.
- Pass out the Make an Envelope and Dear Student: Letter Template worksheets to each student to complete independently.
- Provide support to students as needed.
- Pair struggling students with a strategic writing buddy to write a letter together. Alternatively, allow students to dictate their letter for you to write.
- Have more advanced students write a second letter from the perspective of another type of classroom supplies.
- Have students trade letters with a partner to check their work using the Checklist for Letter Writing worksheet. Ask students to check that each section of the letter is filled out and makes sense.
- Collect finished worksheets to assess whether students were able to accurately write and address their letters.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Display letters on the board and invite several students to read their letter aloud. Encourage students to be dramatic in their reading, as if they really were the pencil/crayon/scissors, etc.
- Point out the different parts of the letter as students read them aloud.