I thought of this friendly letter writing prompt after teaching the Persuasive Letter Writing Prompt, I’m Ready For a Pet! Students had to persuade someone that they were responsible enough to have and care for a pet.
At that time, I began thinking beyond the usual pets, dog, cat, fish and hamster. I imagined the students having extremely unusual pets like a buffalo or a hippo and writing a friendly letter about it!
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I plan to use this lesson next summer during our letter writing camp. It will be a big hit! This particular friendly letter is not meant to be sent. It’s fictional and completely imaginary.
One thing that makes this lesson fun is that the kids get to choose a calendar picture of an animal that is NOT typically a pet.
Common Core State Standards
NOTE: This lesson can address the following Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.2.A, L.1.2.C, L.2.2.A, L.2.2.B, L.3.2.B
NOW THE LESSON!
To get a full understanding on how I conduct each writing lesson you may want to read the Writing Prompts Introduction post. The lesson outlined below (and all other prompts posted) will make more sense and be easier to follow and use. Here’s the lined paper I use for Grades K-2 and Grades 2-7
Tell the Story Line
Tell the students the story line: “You’re going to write an imaginary letter to anyone, telling them about the new pet you got.”
Have the students look at the picture of their unique pet. Give them time to brainstorm interesting things that they can say about their new pet.”
Show the 5 Sections
Date, Greeting, Questions
Introduce/Describe the pet
Caring for the pet
Short story about the pet
Conclusion, Salutation, Name
As mentioned in my writing prompts introduction: K-1st Graders are encouraged to write 1 sentence for each section, 2nd Graders 2 sentences, 3rd Graders 3 sentences and so on.
NOW TO WRITE!
- Begin by writing the date on the first line on the right side of the page.
- Skip a line.
- Next, write the greeting on the 3rd line, left side. “Dear Name of person and a comma.”
- Fourth, skip a line again.
- Write the introductory paragraph on the next line, left side. “In your own words, write, ‘Hello! How are you?’ and ask 1-3 questions.
- Sixth, introduce and describe your new pet. “You won’t believe the new pet I got. I have a ______.” Describe it in detail.
- Seventh, write about taking care of the pet. “I have to feed it 3 live fish every day…”
- Eighth, write a short funny story/incident that happened with the pet.
- Next, write the conclusion that wishes the friend well, “I hope you’re doing well, I can’t wait to see you again. Maybe you can come visit next summer to see it.”
- Lastly, write the salutation under the body of the letter, centered.
- Make sure torite your name UNDER the salutation. (This remains a great challenge for children writing letters. I emphasize it in so many ways, and still have children who write it on the same line.)
Print the Lesson
Calendar pictures are the most popular art accents I use. Kids LOVE to choose a picture to write about. Read my introductory post about Calendar Pictures to find out where to get them and how to use them.
Writers can staple their finished letter to the back of their calendar page or put them back to back in a plastic page protector*.