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Personal Letter Teacher Resources
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Eighth graders write about the physical hardships endured by soldiers of the Civil War. They compare the losses between two communities during the Civil War. They analyze personal letters to understand what a battle was like. They develop a list of ten conclusions of the life of a volunteer soldier.
After completing S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, eighth graders compose a personal letter to their teacher detailing what they liked about the novel and the activities assigned during the course of the unit. A clever way to get feedback, the approach could be used at the end of any unit.
Students research the life of an author then write the author a personal letter. In this letter writing lesson, students use the Internet to find information about Carl Hiaasen, discuss the findings, and write a personal letter to him to find out information not discovered in the research.
Students brainstorm at least ten ways that people communicate (e-mail, instant messaging, Internet chat rooms, personal letters, business letters, faxes, telephone, text messaging, speaking, etc.). They experience the influence of personal documents on history and write, edit and revise personal letters.
Students listen to the teacher read a book entitled, Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. In groups, students create KWL charts concerning the book, the author, and the author's writing style. In groups, students research topics about the book and its author. They write personal letters to Mr. Hiaasen which pose questions to the author. Students share their letters with their peers. Additional activities are listed in the lesson plan.
Student respond to a teacher questionnaire using personal letter format. They reveal their composition skills, organization, sentence structure and mechanics in the activity for the beginning of the year. They word process the friendly letters after using an online tool.
Challenge your class to connect to the text of "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros with this activity, which prompts them to write a personal letter from the main character's point of view. The story, prompt, and letter template are all included in the lesson in .doc and .pdf formats, so you can successfully do this activity in your classroom even without a SMARTboard. The lesson can also be used for other stories than "Eleven."
Here's a fresh approach that combines research, business and personal letter writing, and creative story telling. Student groups research different decades in the life of a famous Japanese astronomer. They then craft a decade fact sheet, business and personal letters, and a character sketch. Although the writing activities focus on the life of Yuji Hyakuatake, the discoverer of a comet, any famous person could be substituted.
The PBS film, Bronx Princess, launches a study of complex parent-child relationships. Using the provided reading guide, viewers respond to clips from the film and compare Rocky and Yaa’s relationship to other parent-child relationships. After a review of the format of the personal letter, class members compose a letter to a parent or loved one. The richly detailed plan includes extensions, adaptations, and resource links.
Students read online information and identify relevant information about a particular dinosaur species, assume the personality of a specific dinosaur species, and write online "getting to know you" letters to other student-dinosaurs in the class. They study and write the basic parts of a personal letter. They swap letters and write replies.
Students investigate literacy in other communities and how they can contribute to a smarter society. In this English language instructional activity, students discuss the difficulties for some countries to obtain reading and writing resources for their youth and how it stunts the development of entire nations. Students view a video of these under educated children and write letters to them in pen-pal form.
What might motivate individuals to leave their ancestral homes and travel to a new country? Using the provided decision-making chart, eight graders read three primary source documents about the new Carolina colonies (two advertisements and one letter home), and consider how each author’s purpose influences the content and focus of the document. For homework, individuals imagine they have moved to a new home, and then craft their own ad and personal letter.
Students learn and practice using a computer. They complete a checklist as they complete each item on the list. During the first session, students demonstrate competency with a mouse, identify icons and menus on the desk top as well as launch programs. Students create and print a greeting card.
Middle schoolers write a friendly letter to 5th graders welcoming incoming students. In this writing lesson, middle schoolers identify the five parts of a friendly letter, write a friendly letter to a current 5th grader, and perform a peer review and self-assessment according to the rubric.