Writing a Letter is Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Teach first graders the basics of letter writing with this engaging reading and writing lesson plan. Using the analogy of the human body, children are introduced to the three key components of a letter—the greeting (head), body (torso), and closing (feet)—as well as common examples of each. After tracing their own bodies and labeling the corresponding letter parts, learners will get a chance to practice this letter writing process by composing their own letter to a friend. By the end of this lesson, learners will have discovered that writing a letter is as easy as one, two, three!
The students will be able to write a simple letter that includes a greeting, body, and closing.
- If you have any old letters, bring a few you can read to the class.
- Read aloud 1-2 short letters that you have received.
- Inform students that they are going to write their own letters. It's easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Pass your letters around for the students to see.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- On the board, draw an outline of a body.
- Tell the students that before they begin writing a letter, there are some things they need to know—namely, the parts that make up the letter.
- The first part is the greeting. Next to the head, write "greeting" and explain that a letter begins with a greeting. It's how we say hello.
- Move down to the body. Tell students that a letter must also have a body. The body is where the actual content of the letter is located.
- Move down to the feet. Tell students that a letter must have a closing, and the feet are the closing of the letter. It's how we say goodbye.
- Review what each section means.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Give each student a sheet of white paper and tell him to draw a body that is almost the full size of the paper.
- Have students write "greeting" next to the heads. List several greetings on the board, e.g. "Hello," "Hi," and "Hey."
- Move to the body and have students write "body" next to the bodies of their drawings.
- Move down to the feet and have them write "closing." List closing words, e.g. "Good-bye," "See you soon," and "Love."
- Now, write a short letter on the board. Circle the greeting used in the letter and write "greeting" next to it. Write 2-3 sentences, and write the word body next to them. Add the closing, circle it, and write "closing" next to it.
- Remind students to always write their name after the closing.
Independent working time(20 minutes)
- Give each student a sheet of butcher paper.
- Have students pair up. Each students should lay down on his butcher paper and have his partner trace his body outline onto the sheet. Remind them their drawings do not have to be perfect.
- Once everyone has finished, they should look at the board and write the parts of the letter next to their bodies.
- Have them put their outlines in a visible spot so that they can be used as a reminder when they write.
- Pass out the Write a Letter worksheet. Have each student to choose a friend to write to.
- In the body of the letter, have each student tell his friend one thing he likes about school.
- Remind students to use closings and sign their names. They can use the greetings and closings you have listed on the board.
- Enrichment: Have advanced students write a paragraph-long body.
- Support: Give struggling students one-on-one assistance during Independent Working Time.
- Check each students' letter for a greeting, body, and closing.
- Use this time to assess students' understanding of how to write a letter.
Review and closing(15 minutes)
- Allow the students to read their letters.