Letters is a Writer’s Workshop unit that teaches letter writing as well as how to fill out forms, write a resume, write a cover letter, and do all sorts of official correspondence. It is for all ages from 1st grade through high school.
You can use this unit in any order after completing Writer’s Workshop Jump Start. It is for beginning writers right up to teens getting ready for job applications and college applications.
It is designed to take about a month to complete, but also be flexible to your family’s needs.
Here’s how you use the unit:
Step 1: Mini-Lesson
You begin each day of writing with a short, 10 minutes or less, mini-lesson that teaches or reinforces the skills from this unit as well as some basic grammar and composition skills. There are mini-lesson ideas in the sidebars all through the unit. You can also use a grammar book of your choice for mini-lessons or pick something out of your children’s writing that you have noticed needs work.
Step 2: Exercises
These are practice to help you learn step-by-step the process of letter writing. All the children do the same exercise together, but older, more experienced writers write longer, more detailed, or more mature work than beginners. Each exercise is designed to be understandable and doable for all writers as well as encouraging growth and learning. The parent/mentor picks and chooses the exercises to be completed from the many ideas in the unit. You do not need to do every exercise.
Most exercises take just one writing session to complete. They can be repeated or they can be stretched over more than one day if you like. When completing exercises, spelling, grammar, and mechanics don’t matter. These are places where learning to express yourself takes precedence. Most exercises end up in the Journal and no one but the writer ever sees them.
Step 3: Writing Project
Here is where each writer will take one piece of writing, whether it is a letter to a grandparent or a career resume, and bring it through the entire writing process. This piece of writing will be expanded, revised, corrected, and then published for an audience; in this case, it will perhaps be sent through the mail to a real person.
Next, the parent/teacher will evaluate the writing project with help from the Letters grading rubric which is included in the unit. The evaluation includes a grade and also thoughtful comments about how the writer can grow in the future.
This unit comes with a pdf printable pack with worksheets and activities that go with the exercises and mini-lessons in this unit.
Supplemental Links, Videos, & Resources
There are Pinterest boards, weblinks, and a YouTube video playlist that go with this lesson on a separate page for Writer’s Workshop.