Reading/Writing Workshop: reading
literary models of Friendly Letters and responding to questions (pairs)
- Whole class
gets back together; teacher begins discussion with the question, “What do
you notice about the format of the letters?” Through this discussion,
teacher begins direct instruction in teaching the parts of the friendly
letter. (See Parts of the Friendly Letter
provides examples of friendly letters from Dear Peter Rabbit by Alma
Flor Ada. Teacher projects
letter (Dear Peter) on overhead while
students refer to their paper copies. Teacher leads students in a discussion
as they identify the parts of the friendly letter on their paper copy of the
letter (See student directions).
- Students then
partner and complete activities for Dear Pig One…
- Teacher reads
an episode from Frog and Toad Are Friends (Lobel, 1970) called The
Letter. In this story, Frog is disappointed about never receiving mail.
Another option is for the teacher to read Dear Annie (Casely, 1991)
which conveys the joy a grandfather and granddaughter experience sending and
receiving letters. The teacher and children then discuss their feelings
about sending and receiving mail.
- Students then
brainstorm all the kinds of friendly letters they might write along with the
different purposes for writing letters:
- To tell
about a good book they have read
- To send
news about themselves
- To share
what they are learning
- To give
news of an upcoming event
provide information about their hobbies
- To reveal
something that happened in school
- To share
something from home
- To ask
complete the Letter-Writing Guide
reviews Reading/Writing Workshop from Day 1 and specifically focuses
students’ attention on the question which asked students to list some
interesting details. The teacher then leads students in a discussion which
explores sentence variety and word choice; focus on creating exciting and
engaging letters appropriate for the intended audience. Teacher should
reference literary models and write down any interesting words, phrases, or
descriptive sentences chosen by the students.
reviews tone of friendly letters: personal, conversational, and informal.
List on chart ways to address various audiences in greetings and closings:
- Teacher asks
students to review their Letter-Writing Guides. Students are encouraged to
make any necessary changes.
begin drafting their friendly letters.
begin by going over their Friendly
Letter Checklist (See handout).
make any necessary revisions.
find a partner who is ready to peer-revise (See
Letters) and they go to it!
- Teacher then
revises/edits student letters- focus on 6 + 1 Traits of writing: ideas,
voice, and word choice (See 6 + 1 Traits handout).