Friendly Letter Study and Writing - Holiday Activities

Grade Levels
4th, 5th, 6th
Resource Types
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11.34 MB   |   87 pages


Tap into students’ natural excitement about the Christmas season with this fun, engaging, and super educational Reindeer Mail Mini-Unit! Filled with six activities that address critical ELA skills there is nothing “filler” about this unit!

This resource includes 6 activities (plus two optional activities) that not only celebrate the Christmas holiday, but teach students important English Language Arts skills. In this unit students will make inferences, compare and contrast, read for information, conduct mini-research, identify the parts of a friendly letter, and write a friendly letter.

Unit Overview
• The unit begins with a letter from Santa explaining that the 8 letters written by his reindeer are all mixed up. Santa tasks the students to read every letter and make inferences about which reindeer wrote each letter based on reindeer profiles.
• After students make inferences, they investigate the same letters and identify factual information about the North Pole, reindeer, and the Arctic. Students practice the skill of reading for information while they chart a total of 13 facts. Then, students conduct mini-research to add to the fact sheets.
• Next, students review sets of the letters and create 4 Venn Diagrams comparing and contrasting each letter.
• Then, students create interactive foldables reviewing the parts of a friendly letter and identifying the elements on a sample letter.
• With a solid understanding of friendly letters, students each pick the name of a reindeer and begin the planning process of writing a friendly letter of their own. In their letters students will draw on everything they’ve learned in the unit thus far.
• Finally, students write their final copies and add images to their letters.

This unit also contains optional bonus activities:
• For a really engaging twist, you may consider using the make-your-own-envelope resources where students create envelopes for their letters.
• Or, utilize the photo booth props in this resource and set up a festive picture-taking session in your classroom. Students can take fun pictures and add them to their letters to the reindeer.

This unit not only taps into students’ natural excitement leading up to Christmas, it also develops critical reading, writing, and interpreting skills!

Skills Developed
• Making inferences
• Showing evidence
• Reading for information
• Discerning between fictional and factual information
• Conducting mini-research on the North Pole, reindeer, and the Arctic
• Comparing and contrasting paired passages
• Parts of a Letter
• Writing Process – Planning, Drafting, Final Copy Writing
• Working collaboratively and independently

Unit Highlights
Activity 1 – Making Inferences
Activity 2 – Reading for Information
Activity 3 – Comparing and Contrasting
Activity 4 – Parts of a Letter
Activity 5 – Pre-Writing and Planning a Letter
Activity 6 – Writing a Friendly Letter
Optional Activities
• Design an Envelope
• Photo Booth Station

This resource includes:
• Unit Overview
• Activity Overview (with pictures)
• Detailed Lesson Plans (8)
• Letter from Santa Claus
• Reindeer Profiles (2 pages)
• Reindeer Profiles – Making Inferences Record Sheets
• Reindeer Letters (8)
• Reindeer Facts – Reading For Information Worksheets (3)
• Compare and Contrast Venn Diagrams (4)
• Parts of a Letter Overview and Foldable
• Parts of a Letter Sample and Arrows
• Part of a Letter Interactive Shapes
• Reindeer Name Cards
• Reindeer Mail – Friendly Letter Writing Planning Pages (4)
• Final Copy Paper – 2 versions in color and black and white
• Envelope template and foldable
• Photo Booth Props (6)

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- Winter Poetry Analysis, "A Christmas Carol" Interactive Notebook, Winter Break Project, End-of-Year Reflection

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Brain Waves Instruction
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week

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Friendly Letter Study and Writing - Holiday Activities
Friendly Letter Study and Writing - Holiday Activities
Friendly Letter Study and Writing - Holiday Activities
Friendly Letter Study and Writing - Holiday Activities