Introduce: Friendly Letter/Email
Materials: Board or chart paper, five index cards. Suggested reading: Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague, The Jolly Postman by Alan Ahlberg, Dear World by Takayo Noda, Naomi Wants to Know: Letters From a Little Girl to the Big World by Naomi Shavin
What to Do
Use a letter from one of the suggested books or create a sample friendly letter or email that describes recent events or experiences in the classroom. (Print sample letter here.) Try addressing the letter to a parent, the principal, or another class. Make a large version of the letter or email on the board or chart paper. Write the parts of a friendly letter or email (Date, Greeting, Body, Closing, Signature) on five index cards.
1. Show students the sample friendly letter or email.
What type of writing do you think this is? Have any of you ever received a letter or an email before? Who sent it to you? What type of information did it have? Why do you think that person sent it to you?
2. Explain the purpose of a friendly letter.
People write friendly letters or emails to share or ask for information.
3. Read the sample friendly letter or email to the students and follow-up with questions.
Who is this to? Who is it from? When was it written? What information is being shared? Is it easy to understand? Is it written in a friendly voice? How do you know?
4. As the students answer the above questions, point to the part of the letter or email where they find their answers.
5. Explain that friendly letters or emails include five different parts.
The first part of a friendly letter or email is the date. It tells when the letter is written. Who can put the Date index card beside the date?
The second part of a friendly letter or email is the greeting. It tells to whom it is written. Who can put the Greeting index card next to the greeting?
The third part is the body. It explains the purpose of the letter or email and is where the writer shares and asks for information. Who can put the Body index card beside the body?
The fourth is the closing. It lets the reader know you are finished with the letter or email. Some examples are Sincerely, Your friend, and Love. Who can put the Closing index card next to the closing?
The fifth part is the signature. It tells who sent the letter or email. Who can put the Signature index card next to the signature?
6. Review the purpose of a friendly letter and its five parts.
Today we learned the purpose of a friendly letter or email. Do we write a friendly letter or email to tell a story or to share and ask information?
We also learned that a friendly letter or email has five parts. Let’s say the parts together as I point to them.
For Advanced Students:
When identifying the parts of a letter or email, ask these students the purpose of each part instead of telling them.
For Struggling Students:
Some students may have difficulty pointing out the parts of a friendly letter or email. In this case, place the index cards next to each part for them.
For ELL Students:
Provide these students with a copy of the sample letter with the five parts labeled.