- Learn about communicating with people in different areas
- Write a letter to someone who lives in a different location
- Letter Template Sheet printable
- Chart paper or whiteboard
- Computer with Internet access
- Map of the United States
- Optional: Show Someone You Care Poster printable
Make a copy of the Letter Template Sheet printable for each student.
Step 1: Explain that letters used to be one of the only ways to communicate with people in other places. In this lesson, students will use letters to share information about where they live and to learn about life in a different location.
Step 2: Encourage students to identify someone in their lives who lives in a different area of the United States. Locate these places on a map. Ask students:
- How far away are these places from where you live?
- What might be similar or different about life in these places compared to where you live?
Step 3: Brainstorm information that is important to know about where you live. Customize based on your social studies curriculum. Possibilities include:
- Climate and weather
- Physical features
- Human-made features
- Popular foods and customs
- Local history
Step 4: Hand out the Letter Template Sheet printable and have students draft their letters.
Step 5: Guide students to write a descriptive paragraph about their neighborhood. Make sure students include a request for details about what it is like to live in the recipient’s location.
Note: If students have trouble identifying someone to write to, ask another teacher in your state or across the country to participate in a letter-writing program.
Step 6: Chart the destinations of the letters on a map of the United States.
Step 7: Use the Final Project Lesson Plan instructions to guide students to complete and mail their letters.
Invite students to share the responses they received from their letters. Ask them:
- What do these destinations have in common with their own location?
- What is different about the locations?