Friendly letter writing can be a fun and engaging topic for young writers. There are many resources and strategies that will help students become confident and skilled letter writers! Check out the list below for just some of the ways to help your class become the best letter writers they can be!
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Start With the Basics
Many students are eager to write and “send” their first letter, but they need to get the basics of penmanship mastered first so other people can read their letters! (Not just the teacher who is used to decoding early elementary writing!)
Here is a free handwriting worksheet maker! Teachers can add any words they want their students to practice. (Maybe a whole sheet of those dreaded b’s and d’s!)
Here are some tips for how to practice handwriting and letter formation with older students.
Learn Sentence Skills
It is also important to teach/review punctuation and capital letters with students. Try this song for sentence structure review!
And, take a look at these tips and tricks from other teachers: Tips for Teaching Sentence Writing Skills: Advice from Teachers.
Try Sentence Fixers & Scrambles
Lucky Little Learners has a couple of resources already created for you to help students learn those capital letters and end marks.
- Sentence Fixers: Students will understand sentence editing in no time! Check out this blog post: Sentence Fixers to snag a free sample!
- Sentence Scrambles can help students pay attention to see if their sentences make sense. This is important to introduce before letter writing! When they start writing their letters, they will notice if their sentences make sense. The teacher just has to say, “Are your letters scrambled or do they make sense?” Learn more about Sentence Scrambles here: Practicing Writing Sentences with Sentence Scrambles.
Resources to Make Letter Writing Engaging
Alright, now that students have worked on the basics, it is time to introduce writing a friendly letter. Here are the next steps to get the letter writing unit off to a great start!
Read & Sing All About It!
A very engaging way to to kickoff any new unit is by using a picture book. Read on for a few teacher-recommended books to help teach letter writing.
This cute story is told from the point of view of a stray dog. The pictures show examples of friendly letters.
This story features imaginative friendly letters written from a student to a teacher. Kids love her tall tales!
- This first song is karaoke style video only having lyrics but has a familiar tune that is easy to follow along with!
2. Another familiar tune that students will love singing and clapping along with!
Create a parts of a letter anchor chart with students to keep displayed in the classroom! Look at this amazing example from Erin Waters.
- Delivering the Mail Writing Center: this center gets students thinking about the parts of a letter while composing their own letters. This is a highly engaging activity because students LOVE writing letters to others! Bonus: the get to spin a paperclip spinner! (What student doesn’t love that?!) Learn more about this and other writing centers available: Writing Centers for 2nd Grade.
2. Early Finisher Letter Writing Practice Sheets: these sheets are great to stick in students’ early finisher packets, especially when you are teaching a letter writing unit! These sheets are included in LLL’s Early Finisher packs! Learn more here: Introducing Our New Early Finisher Packs.
Keep the letter writing going with a classroom mailbox center! Stock it with fun papers and envelopes and students will love sending and receiving letters! Here is an example of a classroom mailbox below!
Hopefully these resources get your friendly letter unit off to a great start! Happy teaching!