Friendly Letter Templates for Writing Instruction

Hi friends! I hope you're having a wonderful week.  I am excited to tell you all about how I am teaching my students to write a friendly letter. I've talked before about how I believe that teaching academics is important at any age, regardless of ability level.  However, I also strongly believe that what we teach should be functional and that our students should be able to use it in every day life. Writing is an important skill for our kiddos to have.  Most of them won't be writing essays, but can definitely learn to write a letter or an email.

I started this unit off with a few great books to get my students interested.  Here are a few of my favorites.

When I teach a new skill, I always follow the effective teaching cycle.  {I do, we do, you do} I begin by modeling the skill- I write my students letters and they read them.  When I do this, I model my thinking and I label the parts of the letter- heading, greeting, body, closing, signature.  After demonstrating this several times, I fade my prompts and visuals and we begin to write the letter together.  It's important to remember to fade your prompts and visuals slowly, depending on the level of your students, to ensure that students are successful and thoroughly understand the skill.  Also, remember that the ultimate goal is independence.  If you are using a visual aide, begin to fade the visual to assist the student in becoming more independent.

I use these friendly letter templates to help my students understand what goes where.  I laminate them and cut out the labels so that we can label the parts of our letter when we write it on a separate piece of paper.

Next, I also use the blank color coded version of this template to write my letter. I allow my students to go through the process of writing the letter by picking the greeting, questions, etc. that they would like to use.  They do not have to generate their own sentences.  This is similar to my post last week about using errorless teaching.
I slowly fade this out.  First, students generate their own greeting, but choose from the available options for the remainder of their letter, and so on.  Finally, when students are more independent in their letter writing, we will start working on writing emails.  This is great because they can get a much faster response from someone!  This has been such a fun unit to teach and my students are able to see the immediate use of the skill in their real life.  I have students every year who LOVE to write letters to their parents or friends and it's even better if we can get a response!  

Check out my Writing Pinterest board for more fun ideas about incorporating letter writing into your classroom.  And grab these friendly letter templates for free by clicking on the picture below!

Check out my Writing Pinterest board for more great writing ideas!

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