Saturday, February 24, 2018

First Grade Letter Writing

First grade letter writing can be so fun when you combine it with a great story! Have you read Dear Mr. Blueberry? It's the cutest book about a little girl named Emily who thinks she has a whale in her pond.  She writes letters back and forth with her teacher to find out how to care for him.  We read this book and then spent the morning on letter writing activities tied to this book. 

After reading the story, we discussed whether a whale could live in a pond.  We made a list of reasons why this simply couldn't happen! 

We decided we would write a letter to Emily telling her why a whale cannot live in her pond.  We did a quck review of our anchor chart "How To Write A Letter" and discussed all the parts that need to be included in a letter.

Next, the students helped me compose a letter to Emily. We did a "shared writing" activity.  I wrote the letter while the students helped me decide what I would write.  It's so important when teaching your students about writing to give them a good model of what is expected.  

As I wrote the letter we discussed the different parts that would be included in the letter and I also pointed out as I would start a new line, or capitalize a word, or put punctuation.  This is the place where the learning is happening! 

After this, it was time for the students to write their own letter to Emily. It's important not to leave your model on the board during independent writing time.  You want the students to use their own imaginations and come up with their own letter, not copy yours.  However, I did leave the letter writing anchor chart and our list of reasons for the students to use during their letter writing process. 

I encouraged them to give 2-3 reasons why whales can't live in Emily's pond and then finish their letter with a question back to Emily.  

We completed the project with this adorable whale craft. 

If you're planning on doing letter writing with your class, be sure to check out my other letter writing activities here.