Objective: The purpose of this book is to help students learn to format and write friendly letters and business letters.
Students will begin to accomplish this objective by memorizing the five parts of a friendly letter. Next, they will learn to format and write friendly letters. Finally, they will compare the parts of a friendly letter to a business letter and practice writing business letters.
In the electronic age, writing friendly and business letters complete with headings and closings is becoming a lost art. Students learn the skill in primary grades and typically forget about it. Honestly, the only reason I teach letter writing skills is to give students a basic understanding that there is a formal way to write letters. When the time comes to actually write a real, honest-to-goodness letter on actual paper, a quick search on the Internet is all that is needed to refresh their memories for proper formatting.
That being said, a good, systematic method for teaching letter writing is still needed to help the students internalize the need for proper formatting. That’s the purpose of this eBook. Students will begin by memorizing the five parts of a friendly letter. This knowledge is something all well educated students should know. Next, they will practice writing more than a dozen one-sentence letters to practice lining up the heading, closing and signature.
Next, the students practice writing business letters. There are several ways to write them, but this book will just focus on the block letter. Having just practiced the friendly letter, the teacher should point out the differences between the two. Two headings and different formatting may not seem like a big difference, but some students still struggle with the change.
There are no worksheets that require students to write actual letters. I would encourage teachers to have students write letters to each other. When I taught the 4th grade, my students’ test was to write me a letter and mail it to me. When I taught 3rd grade, I had the students partner with a mystery 3rd grader from another class. They would write letters about what was happening in their lives. At the end of the month, we would meet before recess and reveal their mystery pen pals. The next month we would start over with new pen pals. It’s fun to actually have the teacher be one of the pen pals, which always adds an element of surprise to the project.