Teaching Tip Tuesdays – Letter Writing

Hilary gave me a great idea last week. She wrote a post about the history of mailboxes.

I commented that I couldn’t remember the last “actual letter” that I had mailed. I’m not talking about sending off bill payments, or cards. I mean an actual letter.

She answered my comment and stated that “a real letter or nice appropriate card might amaze and please someone hugely.”

So I thought that it would be a good idea to send each student in my class a hand-written letter. I’m going to start working on them this week and then I will send them through the mail. I will include a stamped envelope in the letters so that the students can just address the letter properly and send it back to me in the mail.

This week I will teach lessons on letter writing so that the students will be familiar with the different parts of a letter and how to write and answer one correctly.

This will be a required homework assignment. That is why I am going to include a stamped envelope in each letter I send. I know some students might have a hard time getting a stamp and I don’t want that to stand in the way of them completing the assignment.

I think this is a great way to get a real-life application to what we learn in the classroom. Letter writing is often included in standardized tests including the EQAO. Students need to be familiar with it.

I’ve also heard of a teacher that allowed students to pass notes in class as long as they were written in proper letter format and in full sentences. The thought behind this was that any writing the students are doing should be encouraged. I don’t think I’d try this with my class. Perhaps it would work better with an older class.

The key thing here is that we should be writing letters in our classroom. Thanks for the idea Hilary!  I love it when I can get inspired by other blogs and comments. So please leave a comment below or if you are a teacher and have a great tip to share, please consider writing a guest post. Please contact me, I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t forget to check the “new” table of contents page where you can easily find all of the tips I’ve published. They are grouped by theme as well so you can find what you need to easily.

6 Comments on Teaching Tip Tuesdays – Letter Writing

  1. Hi Chase – THANK YOU! That's great and seems to have really fired you up, I hope the students enjoy the exercise. It'll be good to get an update.

    My mother, despite being ill now and unable to hear, said to me today (she's weak) .. "Hilary — blog" so her brain works. It was this stimulation when she was in hospital (3 years now) .. that sent me off to search about subjects that would amuse and interest, or that we had talked about – leading to new ideas .. so that she was always entertained.

    I have written three posts to children on the blog – I set them out here .. another approach within my blog ..

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2009/04/this-is-story-for-katarina-have-some.html

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2009/05/minnie-mouse-pomeranians-bats-and.html

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.com/2009/05/dylan-dylan-and-dylan-who-are-they.html

    I'd be happy to participate with the class later on .. if that would provide some amusement?

    Thanks so much for crediting me .. I'm sure the kids will enjoy this process – even though 'my PLs' are not proper letters as such ..

    All the very best – Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    Thanks for sharing those links. I will check them out tomorrow. I am excited about this project. Thanks a lot for the inspiration.

  3. that is indeed a great idea.
    it really sounds like you are a great caring teacher.
    ECD is up and running again.
    have a good day.

  4. Thanks Ela,

    ECD has be A.W.O.L. for too long. It's good to see him posting again.

    I hope you have a great day too.

  5. I like this idea a lot. I remember the days before emails and the internet when people would actually write to one another. I remember spending hours just getting one letter 'right' before sending it. They were a work of love! And always lovely to receive. Typed letters just aren't the same as those penned by hand.

  6. Hi Jacqui,

    I completely agree. Letter writing is a lot more personal than the other ways we communicate. That's why we need to make an effort to continue to write letters.

    Thanks for the comment!

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