Friendly Letters Put Together
- Students will be able to organize, plan, and write friendly letters.
- Students will be able to use commas in the heading, greeting, and closing of a friendly letter.
- Invite students to participate in a brainstorm about when they might write a friendly letter. (For example, they might write a letter to a pen pal, write to a grandparent or other relative, or write to a friend who has moved away).
- Tell the students that they are going to be learning more about how to organize a friendly letter, including how to write an address in a friendly letter.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Using a concrete example from the school that students can relate to (such as writing to another teacher or the principal), model the process of constructing a friendly letter on chart paper that includes the following parts: heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature
- Label each part of the friendly letter in a different color.
- Outside of the different parts of the letter, give examples for other ideas. For example, the closing of a letter does not always have to end in the word "sincerely." Other types of closings could be used.
- Draw students’ attention to the address and date found in the heading, where commas are included.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Assign each student to a partner.
- Ask the students to use the modeled form to construct a friendly letter to their partner. Brainstorm topics that they can include in their letter, including a discussion about favorite hobbies or questions for the other person.
- After all students have finished writing their friendly letter, distribute a colored pencil to each student and have them switch letters with their partner. Ask the students to label the parts of their peer's letter and to make suggestions.
- Give the students time to participate in a peer review of their work.
- As students work, circulate around the room and check to see that the students have correctly constructed and labeled their letters. Provide additional prompting and guidance as needed.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Ask the students to complete the Construct a Friendly Letter worksheet.
- For students who need additional practice in arranging the parts of a letter, ask them to complete the worksheet Arranging a Letter.
- Challenge students to explore and brainstorm purposes for different types of letters that could be written to a single person.
- Make friendly letter writing authentic by organizing electronic pen pals for the students. This can be done by researching and coordinating with a classroom across the world or across the country. Students can write friendly letters and send their letters in messages or emails under your supervision. If you prefer not to have students do this individually, you can always make it a whole-class writing experience, where you guide the students in shared writing and send the friendly letter in an email or message on behalf of the class.
- Ask the students to complete the Letter Writing Match-Up worksheet.
- Check to see that students are organizing their letters and labeling letter parts correctly.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Distribute one labeled sentence strip or index card to each student.
- Tell the students that you are going to turn the music on. When the music stops, they need to find the four other cards that go with their card. After they have done that, they need to stand (holding their cards) in the order of a letter.
- Turn the music on and ask students to mix and mingle around the room, stopping the music for the students to find their group and order the different labels.
- Invite students to share the significance and meaning of each part of the letter. If desired, ask them to share an example.