Writing an old school friendly letter to still excites my summer writing campers each year. The students can easily think of someone to write too.
In addition, I can’t think of a person I know that wouldn’t enjoy opening a friendly letter. A thoughtful gesture and sweetly appreciated, letter writing is becoming a lost art.
Social Media vs. Snail Mail
Email, texting and social media are taking its place but not replacing it. It’s still unique and heart-warming to tear open an envelope and hold a letter in your hand.
My campers consistently enjoy writing letters! I haven’t had a single camper that couldn’t think of someone to write to. Grandparents, cousins, friends far away, friends close by, Mom, Dad, sibling. They can always think of someone.
This prompt can certainly be written ANY time of year, but what better time to write a letter to a valued person than on Valentine’s Day!
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, W.K.3, W.1.3, W.2.3, W.3.3, W.4.3 and W.5.3
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 a friendly letter to anyone you care about.”
Explain to them that asking questions is an integral part of letter writing. It expresses interest in the other person and also elicits a letter in response for continued dialogue. Have the students think of questions they can ask the person in their letter.
Show the 5 Sections
Greeting and Questions
Reason for Writing
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.
- Write the greeting on the 3rd line, left side (Dear Capital Letters and a comma).
- Next, skip a line again.
- Fifth, 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, ask 1-3 questions. “Did you watch the Super Bowl? Do you have snow now? What books have you read lately?”
- Write the main idea and purpose of the letter. “I’m writing a letter to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!” Tell the person why they are important to you.
- Seventh, write a short story about a time you were with the person. “Do you remember when…? It made me laugh so hard…
- Eighth, write the conclusion that wishes the friend well, “I hope you’re doing well, I can’t wait to see you again…
- Lastly, write the salutation under the body of the letter and centered. Your Friend, Your Buddy, Your Neighbor, Your Daughter etc.
- Make sure to write your name UNDER the salutation.
Print the Lesson
For the border, the students can add any one or more of the Valentine’s Day art accents.
Envelope and Stamp
Also, have the children put a stamp on an envelope and write their name where the return address belongs. The children take it home parents decide whether or not they can send their old school friendly letter. I’ve found that putting the stamp on the envelope increases the chances of the letter being sent a GREAT DEAL!
Answer.Question-Speaking Version: (Talking Game #1)
Oh the Places the Letter May Go!
Take this lesson a step further and watch this 9 minute video about the names of states, their capitals, initials and nicknames. Talk about the different places each old school friendly letter may travel too!