The Correspondence Project: A Lesson of Letters

The Correspondence Project: A Lesson of Letters

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Students practice writing effective letters for a variety of real-life situations, such as responding to a prompt on a standardized test, corresponding with distant family members, or communicating with a business. They begin by reviewing the differences between business and friendly letter formats, using examples and a Venn diagram. Next, students write two letters, choosing from a list of prompts that include letters for varying audiences and purposes. After completing drafts and revisions, students complete their final versions using an online tool.

Featured Resources

Letter Generator : This online tool allows students to read about the parts of a letter. They can then write and print their own friendly or business letter. Interactive Venn Diagram : Use this online tool to organize ideas for a compare and contrast essay, or while reading to compare and contrast two works of literature.

From Theory to Practice

In Both Art and Craft: Teaching Ideas That Spark Learning , Diana Mitchell explains that teaching is "about gently uncovering ways for students to find their way into the learning by making connections within themselves" (23). Students are more likely to "find their way into learning" when assignments have clear application to real-world tasks. As Mitchell explains it, these types of assignments, "have a ‘nowness' about them; there is a reason for an importance to doing them at this point in time" (24). In addition, personal connections are made more easily when students have a degree of choice within a writing assignment. Mitchell triumphs assignments that "are fun and interesting," as well as those that "provide lots of possibilities and tap into . . . imagination" (24). In that spirit, this lesson in letter writing provides a functional application for writing and, at the same time, encourages students to make personal connections through a variety of letter topics. Further Reading

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

Materials and Technology

Computers with Internet access for student use


Student Objectives

Students will

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Session Five

Student Assessment / Reflections

The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters for both styles of correspondence.

The Postcard Creator helps students learn to identify all the typical parts of a postcard, and then generate their own postcard messages by typing information into letter templates. After printing their texts, students can illustrate the front of their postcards in a variety of ways, including drawing, collage, and stickers.

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

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Letter-Writing Lessons & Tips

Letters take many forms and serve a variety of purposes. Give your students practice with the fine art of letter writing using one or more of the following activities. You'll find formatting tips and strategies for teaching your students the basics of different types of letter-writing (like persuasive, business, and friendly), and also plenty of lesson plans to put their newfound knowledge into practice. Letter Writing Week is celebrated in January.

Summer Writing Practice Choice Board for Elementary Grades

Organizing a Letter

Formatting a Letter

Letter-Writing Activities

Letter-Writing Rubrics

Lesson Plans

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15 Friendly Letter Writing Prompts For Kids

Learning to write a friendly letter can be fun! Once students understand the format and basic parts of a friendly letter, the rest is open for creativity. The unique prompts listed below give students a chance to practice their letter writing skills in a creative and imaginative way!  Hopefully, this will make the learning process more engaging and memorable.

1. Write a letter your past self. Describe three things you wish you had known when you were younger.

2. Write a letter to yourself in ten years. State three things you want your future self to remember from the past. 

3. Write a letter to your pet (or a pet you had in the past). Tell your pet two things they do well and one thing they could improve. 

4. Write a letter to your city mayor. State a problem in your city, and ask them to help you fix it. 

5. Write a letter to your parents. Tell them about a big goal you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it.

6. Write a letter to someone you admire. State at least two reasons why you admire that person and how their actions have changed your life.   

7. Write to the chef at your favorite restaurant. Describe your favorite dish, state two reasons why you like it, and one thing you would change.

8. Write a letter to a character in your favorite book or movie. Predict the future for that character. State two positive things and one negative thing that will happen in their future.

9. Write a thank-you letter to someone from history . Tell the person why you think they are important and how they made the world a better place. 

10. Write a letter to your teacher. Describe something you enjoyed learning about this year.

11. Write a letter to someone in another country. Describe something you like about your country and something about your country you wish would change.

12. Write a letter to a friend. Tell them three reasons why you appreciate their friendship.

Friendly Letter Writing Lesson For Elementary & Middle School   

13. Write a letter to an alien from another planet. Tell them three things they should know about Earth before they visit.

14. Write a letter to the school principal. Convince him or her to change a school rule. Give at least three reasons why the rule should change.

15. Write a letter to the owner of a local amusement park. Describe your idea for a new ride.

*Are you also teaching your students to write a business letter? Click here for 10 student-friendly business letter writing prompts.  

letter writing assignment middle school

5 Proven Letter Writing Activities to Boost Your Lessons

I have 5 Proven Letter Writing Activities that boost student engagement and hit the mark with second and third-grade writing standards!

Are you an elementary teacher who wants to teach your students letter writing skills through engaging activities that will promote the love of writing? Yes, producing students that write letters on their own!

The Background

I’ve taught second through fourth grades for the last twenty-some years. Throughout this time, I’ve enjoyed teaching writing the most. So I’m constantly looking for creative ways to foster the love of writing within my students.

I’m sure you feel the same way if you’re reading this post.

Something I’ve learned throughout this time is that students have a voice and want to use it. They need a little support and encouragement in using their writing voice. But once they have it, there’s no limit!

Yes, that’s teacher heaven right there. Every Teacher Everywhere

One way I support and encourage student writing is through Friendly Letter Writing Activities. The following activities are a mixture of whole-class instruction, small group collaboration, and peer discussions.

The activities will skyrocket your student’s desire to write in no time at all.

The search is over. Here’s a new and creative way to boost your writing lessons with an old-school tradition.

A picture of letter writing activities post office.

Friendly Letter Writing Workspace

Before introducing any of the Letter Writing Activities, I set the stage. It’s just a little touch of anticipation that motivates students to participate in writing instruction.

I also suggest setting up a Letter Writing Center with all the bells and whistles. I include a mailbox, stationary, stamps, envelopes, letter writing anchor charts, and graphic organizers. 

Next to the Letter Writing Center are the Letter Writing Read-Aloud Books. I suggest keeping the books close by to offer inspiration when needed.

I look at the Letter Writing Center as the second and third-grade version of the kindergarten playhouse. Don’t you think older kids need a creative space as well? I sure do!

The Student Hook for FREE!

You can check out my FREE Letter Writing Post Office here . After signing up, you’ll have all the materials needed to excite your students and then maintain their enthusiasm for letter writing.

Then, introduce the activity with regular routines and expectations of the Writing Post Office. I hope the first and most crucial expectation will be to use it! 

Yes, that expectation is just a sneaky way to get the students in front of the anchor charts, writing rubric, and checklist needed to support excellent writing.

Now, if you’re a bit “extra,” you may even use the FREE Letter Writing Post Office and create individual desk-sized Post Offices! 

Whole-Class Letter Writing Activities 

To truly improve student writing, there must be an element of direct instruction.

The necessary lessons on writing structures, using your voice, and so much more are essential.

For me, this is a time for whole-class instruction before the students even begin to write.

My whole must-have class activities are note-taking, peer discussions, and color-coding the text.

Note-taking on Letter Writing Features

Next, I provide the necessary background information on friendly letter writing, the students take brief notes in a straightforward graphic organizer. The notes then become a source of reference to support their letter writing in action.

Pre-Writing Peer Discussions

So, I encouraged students to discuss their learning with peers. The more discussion opportunities, the better the writing.

Mind-blowing, right?

As you teach the Friendly Letter Writing Unit, students are provided with small chunk-sized mini-lessons, each with several peer discussion opportunities.

The peer discussions allow students to verbalize their thoughts. Students then gain perspectives of others, receive feedback, and adjust previous thinking.

All of which leads to stronger writing.

An example of peer discussions is discussing the topic of a letter with a peer before committing to the writing.

Students share and build upon each other’s ideas. All topics are thought out, supported, and explained before starting to write. 

Once the student takes the discussion to write, the overall outcome is much more developed.

It’s like giving students a “practice” round before putting in the extra effort to develop the writing.

I had a friend once say, “always take it to the writing stage.”

“Talk it out before you write it out.” M. Qualle

Color-Coding the Text Activity

Finally, my favorite whole-class pre-writing activity is Color-Coding the Text. If you’re not familiar with this, here are the basics.

First, you provide a mentor text to read together. Then as a class, and eventually independently, the students highlight each feature of Letter Writing structure with a different color.

Students love this pre-writing activity because (you know), well, highlighters, of course!

In our situation, Friendly Letter Writing Activities, the students highlight the heading in purple, the greeting in green, the body in yellow, the closing in red, and finally, the signature in blue.

Yes, the students have engaged, plus the finished product is so easy for you to scan for check for understanding quickly.

Can you say, a total win-win?!


Letter Writing Practice Worksheet 

In my opinion, there’s one single Lette worksheet that must be present for students to be successful. That’s the graphic organizer.

You can pick up your FREE letter writing graphic organizer found within the Letter Writing Post Office Kit .

The graphic organizer worksheet is the single most crucial worksheet in the letter writing unit.

Students will need to have the letter-writing structure down to pat to write letters independently. So I believe in scaffolding the graphic organizer.

Plus, I use the graphic organizer at the beginning with heavy support. Over time, I slowly remove the scaffolds to encourage student independence. 

As the students become more efficient with their letter writing skills, the graphic organizer has fewer supports. Eventually, students will not need the graphic organizer. 

letter writing assignment middle school

Letter Writing Activities for a Center 

There are numerous fun and engaging Letter Writing Activities for your centers. In this post, I have two that are my go-to for Letter Writing Skills. 

Letter Writing Match-Up Activity

Also, use the Letter Writing Match-Up Activity with pairs of students or with small groups. The goal of the writing activity is to match three puzzle pieces together.

Each set will be one feature of the Letter Writing Structure. Students will need to check the vocabulary term, the definition, and an example together.

Heading matches includes the reader address and date, which then matches with,  2416 First Street, Ceres, CA 95386

The beauty of this activity is that students need to check one another’s work, which is more practice with the letter-writing structure.

Letter Writing Choice Board

The Letter Writing Choice Board is an array of 12 different letter writing prompts. I assign this activity in centers or as Early Finishers Work. With twelve writing prompts, students are busy writing.

I use the Choice Board throughout each month to save me time. (Fin!)

Another benefit of using the choice board is it gives students an actual choice!

Yes, we don’t have to dictate everything! Who knew?

That’s right, allowing students the choice in writing will definitely pay off in the quality of the student writing.

An interesting writing prompt equals quality writing.


Digital Letter Writing Activities

However, Letter Writing Activities are not always pen-to-paper. Oh no, not in the world we live in today. We also have letter writing through email. With 3 million emails sent every second, teaching our young students the letter structure is essential.

Now, I still believe in students learning how the print and write in cursive. So I use a delicate balance of digital and printable resources. If you’re like me and want both the digital and printable Friendly Letter Writing Unit , you can check it out here .

(Here’s a little side note. Did you know you can print the slides in Google Slides? Use 8.5 X 11-inch slides.

Digital Activities

The most ideal Digital Letter Writing Activities found in my Friendly Letter Writing Unit are: 

Also, the listed digital activities are short and quick, which is usually not too overwhelming for young students who may not be proficient at typing yet. (Trust me, fast and simple will save you your sanity.)

In addition, I have a related post, How to Teach Friendly Letter Writing, with 3 Key Elements that you may want to check out.

There you have it. Five Letter Writing Activities to Boost your lessons now. Just like that, once you introduce letter writing using these activities, there’s no stopping them. Letter Writing Activities will hook your students for life!

Also, I offer a course for teachers to transform their students’ writing through letter-writing, called Elevate with Letter Writing. You can check out all the course goodness here .

Sentences, Paragraphs, and Essays: OH, MY! E-Book image.

Are your students struggling and making very little progress in writing? Or maybe they’re unmotivated or a reluctant writer?  If so, I’ve got your back.


Let me share my secret sauce when it comes to teaching writing to elementary students. 

It’s the Sentences, Paragraphs, and Essays: OH, MY! E-book.

Click this link to learn more about how the E-Book can transform your students’ chicken scratch, hap-hazard writing into strong, effective, glorious writing!


Hi, I'm Melissa!

I help elementary writing teachers motivate students through guided instructional resources that students love!

Together we will engage and support young writers in their writing journey.

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Lesson Plans

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Better letters: lesson plans for teaching letter writing.

Is letter writing a lost art? This week Education World provides five new lessons to revive student interest in writing friendly letters. These letter-writing lessons are sure to get your stamp of approval! Included: Links to letter-writing resources, rubrics, and more than ten additional lesson plans!

Has e-mail killed the art of letter writing -- or is the skill still flourishing via phone lines and cable? Whatever your opinion about those questions may be, there's no doubt that letter writing is an essential skill that incorporates and builds upon many other language skills. With the right lessons -- lessons that engage students and emphasize the practical -- letter writing can be a source of learning and an opportunity for classroom fun!


This week, Education World presents five letter-writing lessons that are sure to get your stamp of approval! Click on each of the lesson headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Appropriate grades for each lesson appear in parentheses.)

Story Characters Write to "Dear Abby Students play the roles of a book character and an advice columnist in this activity involving writing friendly letters and solving problems. (Grades 3-12)

The Mail Race Invite students to write friendly letters and mail them to schools near and far. Then wait to see who responds, in this lesson combining language arts and geography. (Grades K-8)

A Letter to Sarah, Plain and Tall Patricia MacLachlans novel Sarah, Plain and Tall inspires students as they write friendly letters to Sarah from the point of view of Anna or Caleb. (Grades 3-6)

The Lost Art of Letter Writing What do Harry Trumans letter reveal about the man and the times in which he lived? What do the letters students write today reveal about them? (Grades 6-12)

Anti-Smoking Letter Writing Campaign Students explore arguments against smoking and write letters encouraging friends not to smoke. (Grades 3-12)


Truckers, Kids Make Good Buddies Buddy International pairs truckers and students as e-pals.

Stationery for Friendly Letters

Childrens author Jan Brett offers printable friendly-letter stationery for kids.


As we searched the Net for great resources, we found more lesson plans that teach letter writing skills. Click here to view those lessons!

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letter writing assignment middle school

An Introduction to Letter Writing

letter writing assignment middle school

Letter writing can be fun, help children learn to compose written text, and provide handwriting practice — and letters are valuable keepsakes. This article contains activities to help children ages 5–9 put pen to paper and make someone's day with a handwritten letter.

Related Content

Letter writing is an essential skill. Despite the prevalence of emails and text messages, everyone has to write letters at some point. Letters of complaint, job applications, thank you letters, letters requesting changes or making suggestions — the list goes on and on. Encouraging children to write letters from an early age will improve their communication, social and handwriting skills, and teach them what they need to know about writing and structuring letters.

Within schools

Letter writing can be included in a school's curriculum. Visits to museums or farms prompt thank you letters, for example contacting schools in other countries and exchanging letters links into geography. Writing imaginary letters to historical people can encourage understanding of a historical period or topic. Writing letters encourages good social skills, learning to say thank you and asking for information politely.

Letter writing has many purposes, including the following:

In this article:

What’s so special about receiving a handwritten letter?

Quite apart from curriculum requirements, being asked to write letters is a task that will appeal to children. The sheer fun of sending and receiving letters appeals to every child. There is something special about putting letters into the post box and then having letters delivered by the postman… the brightly colored stamps, seeing your name on the envelope and knowing that inside is a long awaited letter from a friend or member of the family. It shows someone cares and has taken the time to sit down and think about you.

Handwritten letters have a charm of their own. You can take time to think about what you want to say. You can keep letters to read again and again. You can admire the handwriting; share dreams and thoughts. Responding by letter is very different to the immediacy of a text message or an email.

Back to Top

Activity 1: Warming up to letter writting

Use the above themes to encourage the children to discuss letter-writing. Ask the children to put their hands up if they have ever received a personal letter. Ask for one or more volunteers to talk about how they felt to receive the letter. Here are some initial questions that may help:

And some questions for whole class or group discussions:

Ask the class to interview each other to find out each individual's experiences of writing and sending letters. This can be recorded in a chart.

Activity 2: Introducing letter writing

Collect a supply of different types of letters — both formal and informal. Ask the children to sort them out into two groups. Which were written to friends? Which are formal letters from businesses? Which features or characteristics distinguish formal from informal?

Having done that ask the children to look for differences between the two groups. This allows a discussion to take place about the different types of letter. Draw up a chart for each group covering:

This will allow the children to find out for themselves the differences between formal and informal letters.

This could be followed by a discussion of the type of letters the children or their families write. How many occasions can they think of which would deserve a letter to be written? For example:

In each case the children should decide what type of letter would be most appropriate in each case — formal or informal? Draw up a chart for each group.

Activity 3: Formal letters

These are sometimes known as business letters. They are written in a strictly formal style. Such letters are always written on an A4 (8" x 11") sheet of paper. They can be folded three times so that the address to which the letter is being sent can appear in the window of a business envelope. The layout is always the same.

Typical layout of a formal letter

Typical layout of a formal letter

Activity 4: Informal letters

These are letters to friends and relations, or people you know well. Structure:

Typical layout of an informal letter

Sample Informal Letter

Tips for writing good letters

Activity 5: Letter of inquiry and letters providing information

Suitable for school, children ages 7-9

These are formal letters and messages need to be precise and detailed, covering all the required information. Two types of letters can be undertaken — a letter requesting information; and a reply providing it.

Out in the Milky Way, there is an alien curious about Earth. He writes a letter asking for information about liquids and gases. These do not exist on his planet and he finds it hard to understand what they are.

Write a letter explaining what liquids and gases are. How do they work? What examples could be included? What would be confusing about them? This could link to your science curriculum and could act as a revision exercise giving an opportunity for a discussion about gases and liquids.

The following day, give the children a thank you letter from the alien!

You could link up with another class in the school. One class could write letters of inquiry. These would be delivered to the second class for answering.

Activity 6: Thank you letters

Suitable for school, children ages 5-7 and 7-9

Thank you letters are very important and can be used in lots of ways: thanking organisations for helping, thanking people for helping you, thanking someone for a lovely time. They make a good follow up exercise after receiving presents or going on a visit.

Your class has just been out on a school visit to a farm. Write a thank you letter to the farmer. You will need to say thank you and how much you enjoyed the visit. Give some examples of what you enjoyed best about the day? Was it feeding the lambs? Pond dipping? Seeing the young animals?

Activity 7: Letters of invitation

Everyone likes receiving invitations. Receiving a hand written letter asking you to a party or a special event makes you feel very special.

Discuss what type of event might create a need to write letters of invitation. There are plenty of examples — birthday parties, Christmas parties, a visit to a beach with friends; going out to a farm or to the cinema, a wedding or when a new baby is christened; or simply inviting a friend to stay overnight at your house.

Choose a special event and write a letter inviting a friend. What do you need to include in the letter so that they have all the necessary information? You need to be clear on the date and the time, as well as the location. Your friend would be very upset if he or she went to the wrong place. Does he or she need to bring anything with them? Does he or she need to be collected at a set time? Will outdoor clothing be needed if the weather is bad? How will your friend reach the location of the event? Should a parent bring them or will you provide transport?

Remember to ask them to reply saying yes or no. Give a date by which you must have their reply. This is important if food and drink are being provided, or if you need to know exactly how many people are coming.

Activity 8: Letters of complaint

Suitable for school or home, children ages 5-7 and 7-9

When might a letter of complaint be sent? It might be when someone has done something wrong. Sometimes people write letters to organisations or the newspapers to complain about litter or poor service.

Just imagine what Mr. Bear must have been thinking at the end of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A naughty girl had broken into his home, eaten his porridge; broken a chair and then gone to sleep on his child's bed. Then she had run away without even saying sorry when the bears came back.

Write a letter of complaint from Mr. Bear to the parents of Goldilocks. What would he say? He would need to get his complaint across very strongly. There would be a list of Goldilocks' misdeeds. He would ask for an apology. Would he ask for payment for the broken chair? Would he ask for action to be taken against Goldilocks? Discuss the various possibilities with the children. What might he ask? Would it be a formal or informal letter?

Activity 9: Letters to Santa

Every year children write letters to Santa Claus, asking for special toys at Christmas time. But how many children think about Santa Claus himself? What is his life like? What are the problems of living amid all that snow and ice?

This is an exercise that could involve two classes within a school. Both classes should prepare for the task by listening to some unusual letters. J R Tolkein wrote a lovely book entitled Letters from Father Christmas. Every December a letter would appear telling wonderful tales of life at the North Pole — how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Santa Claus's house.

Children in the younger class should write letters to Santa. They should ask about life at the North Pole. What do they think it is like? What sort of characters live there? How does Santa Claus occupy his time for the rest of the year? Consider how they would feel living in a land of snow and ice all year round? Would they want a holiday somewhere warmer?

Once the letters are written, gather them up and take them to an older group of children. Give each child a letter and ask them to write a reply. This would give them the opportunity to use their imagination and create imaginative responses, possibly little stories about life at the North Pole. They could also add in their own ideas. But care should be taken to make sure that all the questions in the original letters are answered.

Finally, take the answers back to the original class for reading and discussing.

Activity 10: Letters to newspapers and magazines

These are letters that aim to pass on an opinion or a message. Examples can be easily obtained from local newspapers or from children's magazines such as DK Find Out or Aquila. They are written slightly differently to normal letters and are always addressed Dear Sir, or Dear — (name of magazine).

These are letters that are directed at a wide audience — anyone who happens to read it. The sender never gets a direct letter back through the post. Sometimes people are so interested in a letter, which has appeared in a magazine that they want to express their opinions. So they then write a letter to the magazine giving their comments.

So what might go into a letter to a newspaper or magazine? It might be a request — could you provide more stories about skate boarding, or nature? It might be a way of thanking people for providing help. Sometimes letters to local newspapers are used to thank people who helped find a lost dog or help after an accident; but who did not leave their names. By writing to the paper, the sender hopes that the message will reach the people concerned. Sometimes such letters are used to express opinions such as on climate change, treatment of animals, poor services, not enough buses, and human rights.

Letters of this kind need to be very precise. Arguments should be clearly made. Requests for action should be clearly indicated. From reading the letter, everyone should know exactly what the sender is asking.

A major issue is recycling and energy conservation. Everyone is trying to reduce the amount of energy we use. Look at all the reasons why energy conservation is so important. Then, write a letter to a paper or magazine saying why you believe we should avoid wasting energy. Give examples of how energy can be saved? What measures should we take in our homes or schools? Could anything more be done?

My Child magazine. (2007). Letter Writing Resource Pack. London, U.K. Author. Retrieved February 26, 2008, from

Related Topics

Quite helpful

This is quite helpful for students.

Teaching my third grade students tomorrow found it very helpful specialy the activities.Thanks.

Very helpful

this helped me understand an informational letter

Great basic format. It is a strong foundation to start. The layout gives a structure that students can use as a template.

Some useful ideas, but I'm concerned that the layout of the formal letter is incorrect - the date should be underneath the address on the top right of the page, and a letter beginning Dear Sir/Madam should end in Yours faithfully, not Yours sincerely! Sorry for pointing it out, but I hope it helps!

this is really helpful. thanks

It is very helpful for our students, but I think we need more examples and also how could these letters be evaluated in class.

really wonderful activities are suggested to improve letter writing.

I'm teaching my 7 year old daughter the art of personal letter writing. I found this information very useful! Thank You!!


You can give more topics for kids to write at home

I don't think you should write your name in the top right hand corner of the letter regardless of whether it is formal or informal. You should only write your address and the date there but not your name. Am I wrong?

Yes. You're right.

very useful site

This is quite useful but needs more examples

Thank you this was very helpful! Teaching this to my third graders tomorrow!

A great read as I am looking for various language to use in writing thank-you notes to parents for Christmas gifts. Our whole sharing month in December revolved around distinguishing between a need and a want. The thank-you with a purpose will be awesome as an example of an informal thank-you letter. As a follow up, we will write a formal thank-you to our parent council for their efforts in generating funds for our school. (Christmas raffle baskets with a theme)

quite helpful

These came in handy as I prepare mu pupils to write letters. Thanks a million for this information.

I had my ELLs create an invitation using your lesson. After choosing the event, we brainstormed together, using a concept map, what would need to be included. Then I made like a story map for them to fill in with the required info. For my lower ELLs, I used frames: Please come to my ____ on ____ at ____. They referenced the vocabulary we brainstormed and that I had written on a chart. After drafting, we did peer edits, from a specific check list, and revised and edited for specific errors based on peer edit. It went really well and studets enjoyed decorating their invitations as well!

Two books for children i have found very useful are Dear Greenpeace ( Walker Books) and The Jolly Postman or other peoples letters ( Puffin Books) there amazing for this topic for ks1

this is quite helpful for students..

I LOVE the letters to santa lesson! I am student teaching and third grade right now and trying to figure out how to pull this off. For example, should they write the letters to Santa or should they answer the letters. I am pretty sure a lot of them believe in Santa still...Anyway, love this idea and will use it in the future if not this year!

i am looking for a decent and friendly handwriting scheme/style to use from Reception through to Year 6. Currently we have Berol and it doesn't seem to be favoured by many. desperate for some feedback and guidance

I'm a 3rd grade teacher and have done this activity for many years. Teaching in a K-5 school, I've teamed with a 5th grade teacher to answer the letters. I've done it 2 ways: 1) the students write to Santa asking for something, but they have to PERSUADE Santa that they deserve the present they are asking for (use evidence of what you did to earn the present. 2) My students are "buddies" to a class of Kinders. They ask their buddies what to name a present they would like. The 3rd grader asks the buddy about their behavior/good deeds, etc, then writes the letter on behalf of the buddy (and reads it aloud along with the response.) The 5th graders writing the responses are instructed to respond to the letters as one of Santa's elves. They make up a name (Snowflake, Jiggly, Dreamboat, etc, so 3rd grader doesn't know that a 5th grader is writing) and then commend the writer for their hard work/good deeds BUT they cannot guarantee a present. The 5th grade teacher encourages them to make up contingencies (that's a popular request, we're running low on stock, I'm not sure we have that yet, etc) so that the writers' evidence/behavior is acknowledged, but 3rd's aren't set up for disappointment. The letters are delivered by a mysterious knock, with a plain envelope laying in front of the door, but no delivery person in sight. Jewish students write letters to their parents requesting Hanukkah gifts, using the same evidence criteria. I've done this project 15+ years, and every year this project is a big hit, as students read and re-read their responses to their classmates. (Third graders also become proofreaders when they find writing mistakes by the elves. I respond that the elves need to have more writing lessons.)

Thank you for the awesome resource..

teaching this unit tomorrow, this was helpful

letters are important, a skill sadly lacking these days

What about 'grading' a thank you letter?

Its better to include more examples of types of letters.

I teach English Lnguage Learners and they will love this unit. A good (and funny) book to use with this unit is "I Wanna Iguana" by Karen Kaufman Orloff. Thanks!

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