Writing Letters Unit
All letters will be kept in folders in the room as a student portfolio of their writing progress throughout the two week unit of letter writing.
Activity 1 - Day 1 - Introducing writing the friendly letter
Subject: Language Arts (writing letters)
Use electronic and traditional editing strategies to spell words correctly (e.g., proper nouns, in and inn[homophones])
Correctly use capitalization skills (e.g., beginning of sentence, titles, proper nouns, salutations of letters, pronoun, "I")
Correctly write and punctuate a friendly letter
Develop an appreciation of general writing (this activity will allow the teacher to work in infomation about various authors and styles)
Materials Required: At least one copy of or a chapter from Dear Mr. Henshaw written by Beverly Cleary. Note: I will be using Unit 8 from our sixth grade Language Arts Today textbook, publisher Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.
1. We will begin by discussing briefly about letters. We will center discussion around who in the class has received letters, what the students think they look like and the importance of sending and receiving mail.
2. Read a chapter of Dear Mr. Henshaw to the class or read the entire book with the class if a classroom set is available.
3. Discuss friendly letters.
4. Discuss the letters that Leigh wrote and the content and motive of his letters.
5. The teacher will explain the correct form for writing a letter (include return address, greeting, body, closing, and signature.
6. Student choice: Students will pretend to be Mr. Henshaw and reply to Leigh or students can choose to write to their favorite author.
7. Letters will be reviewed by peer editors and/or the teacher.
8. The students will use a word processing program to type the letter and to check spelling if this is their chosen one to read and perfect at the end of this writing unit.
9 One, fifty minute lesson will be spent on writing the first draft and then copying and perfecting the letter. The teacher and peers will edit the letters as students finish them.
10. At the end of writing several friendly letters, students may choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class.
Day 2 Activity 2 - Review of the friendly letter
Recognize parts of a friendly letter. Recognize the address and
return address on an envelope. Write a friendly Letter.
Materials: Drawing paper Writing paper
Procedure: Present students with information about the educational systems in Mexico and or Japan. Note: Japan and Mexico was chosen because of our ESL population within our school. Discuss similarities and differences in Mexican/Japaneese and American educational systems. Introduce parts of a friendly letter. Brainstorm ideas for writing a letter to a student in Mexico and/or Japan. Have students write a letter, then illustrate a picture of a normal day in an American School.
Time Limit: One, fifty minute period. On the fifth day spent on friendly letters, students will choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class.
If this letter is chosen, students will type the letter and spell check it on the computer.
Evaluation: Check to see if child wrote all parts of the friendly letter correctly. Be sure to include evaluation of capitals and punctuation.
Day 3 - Activity 3 Writing a friendly letter to author Marice Sendak
Purpose of the lesson: The goal of this lesson is for the students to write a friendly letter to author Maurice Sendak. Students will learn how to write a friendly letter, and at the same time, share their thoughts,feelings, and reactions about Mr. Sendakís book Where the Wild Things Are.
Rationale: After reading the story the students will have a chance to contact Mr. Sendak through email via his publisher. The email will be in a friendly letter format with the students learning proper letter form: the heading, the salutation, the body, the closing, and the signature. This same activity could be performed with traditional letter mailing through the US Postal Service, but it can be done much faster and with less cost by using the Internet. Both forms of communication - the email and friendly letter will be discussed.
Time Limit - one, fifty min. period
Materials: paper, pencil, computer lab with Internet access.
Time Limit: One, fifty minute period.
Evalution: This letter will be put into the student letter
portfolio. On the fifth day spent on friendly letters, students
will choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class. If this
letter is chosen, students will type the letter and spell check
it on the computer. The chosen letter will be graded according to
the teacher's rubric for letter writing evaluation.
Day 4 - Activity 4
Overview: Students need to practice writing a friendly letter.
Activity Time: 50 minutes
1. As a result of this activity, the students will:
2. Better understand parts of a greeting letter and envelope.
3. Be able to address an envelope.
4. Be able to write a letter to a friend.
Books: The Jolly Postman or Other Peoples Letters, or The Jolly Pocket Postman
Poster of a letter and envelope
Labels to identify the parts of the letter and envelope
Piece of paper and a envelope for each student in the class
Activities and Procedures:
1. Call on different students to point out different parts of a letter and envelope.
2. The class will discuss writing a letter together (e.g., the class could discuss writing to a person in the class, the principal of the school, or Santa Claus).
3. Have students write a friendly letter and address an envelope to anyone they would like to write. In the letter the students can use five of their spelling words for the week.
Evalution: This letter will be put into the student letter portfolio. On the fifth day spent on friendly letters, students will choose one of theirs to read aloud to the class. If this letter is chosen, students will type the letter and spell check it on the computer. The chosen letter will be graded according to the teacher's rubric for letter writing evaluation.
Day 5 - Activity 5 - Proofing, Typing, and Reading the Favorite Letter
Lesson Plan: Writing a Friendly Letter on a Computer
Goal: TLW gain knowledge of writing a friendly letter as well as basic word processing skills through use of a computer.
1. TLW write a friendly letter.
2. TLW proofread the letter for grammatical and spelling errors.
3. TLW be able to create, save, and print a program done in Word (Office 2000).
Students should have 3 friendly letters in their folders. Each student will choose one of those letters to turn in for a grade from the letter writing rubric. The students will type and perfect their choice of one of the three friendly letters, students will read the finished copy aloud to the class before turning in it to the teacher.The letter that is chosen, will be typed in class and spell checked on the computer. The chosen letter will be graded according to the teacher's rubric for letter writing evaluation.
SW practice the letter-writing exercise with teacher supervision.
TW provide reteaching and enrichment activities as needed.
TW use observation, oral responses, and the written letter evaluated from the rubric to evaluate each student's progress and understanding.
Visit the Rubrics that will be used for evaluation.
Please visit the Student Gallery for original
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