This is an academic assignment that builds community in the classroom. Students work in pairs to interview and introduce classmates by constructing interviews, writing a friendly and informative letter (while using figurative language), including a photo or piece of original art, publishing the letter, and giving an informal speech of introduction.
The letter is a perfect product to assign a holistic grade of assessment, clarifying for student and teacher a starting point for writing for the school year. Students become acquainted with other members of the class while working to present a cohesive and appropriate presentation of a classmate.
The finished product, published with word processing software, creates for each class an interesting bulletin collage of letters and photos or art that students enjoy and parents relish during open houses. The letters serve as basic writing samples, the literary device chart and practice hones skill in use of figurative language, and the speech develops the art of coherent presentation. The letter also helps the teacher establish level of proficiency with word processing and simple computer tasks, such as inclusion and placement of a photo on the letter page.
• Step by step plan for each lesson day
• Suggestions for differentiation
• Suggestions for approaching RAFTS with your students
• Suggestions to develop interview questions and a student handout
• Literary device chart with definitions and spaces for student examples
• Two model letters complete with labeled literary devices written in friendly letter format
• Random selection tool for pairing students (these need to be printed and cut out in advance)
• Guide for peer review and reflection
• Exit slip forms
Activities and plans for 3-5 days
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