A Dying Art...The Friendly Letter!

Friends~My Writing Center is booming this year!  My crew are writing letters like crazy!  Boxes of envelopes are always welcome.  It is so sweet to see my little friends communicating with each other...the old fashion way.  The only problem is I have not really taught them how to write a letter and I cringe every time I see one of their letters.  Not because they are not working hard but because they don't understand the basics of The Friendly Letter.  I have been working so hard trying to cover all of my writing goals that I too let this Art slide under the rug.

I know, I know, they will be using email & texting in the future.  I just can't shake the idea of my little ones walking out of 2nd grade not know how to put a personal greeting together for their family and friends.

Well, today marked the day that I brought all of this to light in class.  Mini Lesson time to the rescue!  We spent some time this afternoon and learned the basics of a Friendly Letter.  I kept it very simple because I didn't want to make it seem like more work and stop them from choosing to write during center time.

Check out this video that I made to help my students set up letters on notebook paper.  While stationery and cards are fun they are costly.  We talked about using notebook paper and then decorating it to make our own stationery!
I also put together a Smartboard lesson for them to interact with during our lessons.  I felt so much better as I watched them still head into The Writing Center and grab envelopes.  Their letters looked great and I could see the pride in their eyes as they shared with each other.  



  1. Cute! I loved hearing their giggles and laughs and I LOVE the 'comma, momma' :)

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  2. Hey Monica - I've been following you for a long time but not officially til today! I love your blog; you always have such great ideas!! I started blogging just a few days ago and I would love if you would check it out!

    Learn, Laugh, Grow

  3. Monica, I have LOVED your blog for a loooong time and officially started following today :) I started using letter writing at my writing center last year and my kids loved it :) I also just did a lesson on it before break with the book "Dear Polar Bear". I will be using your great video this week :)

    Lisa : (new follower) P.S. If you have a chance, please check out our new blog :)

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  6. I use writing a friendly letter every Friday. Each student has a Dialogue Journal. They choose one person at home to write to over the weekend. The parent is expected to write back to the child. They can share their letters on Monday. Some kids want to write to their pets...so parents need to be ready to respond back as Fido or Fluffy. Both students and parents love this activity. I've had kids approach me that I taught 10 years ago and tell me they still have their Dialogue Journal. I even have some students go back and edit their parents letter. Some parents are not always thrilled with this but it is a real-life connection to proper letter writing.

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Extra, extra tell Mrs. Schroeder about it!