- Follow the format for writing and addressing letters in order to communicate with a favorite author.
- Develop narratives using effective technique, description, and sequence; organize and develop writing appropriate to purpose and audience.
- Demonstrate use and knowledge of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.
- Get Started printable
- Show Someone You Care Poster printable
- Letter Template Sheet printable
- Sample letters from children to authors
- Computer with Internet access
- Family Activity Sheet printable
Step 1. Explain to students that letters can be sent to people you know as well as people you don’t know. Letters can even be sent to someone you admire, even if they are famous or live far away.
Step 2. Ask students if they have ever considered writing a letter to one of their favorite authors. What would they want to say in a letter?
Step 3. Share preselected examples of letters from children to authors they admire (refer to the Get Started! section on the Get Started printable for letter URLs). Discuss what students notice about the letters. Do they follow the personal letter format? What types of messages do the letters include?
Step 4. Invite students to choose a favorite author or an author the class is reading (use the Literary Connections list on the Get Started printable for book tie-in ideas), then brainstorm what to include in their letters. Remind students that they can tell the author about what the author's book has taught them, how it has influenced them, or what it means to them.
Step 5. Give students time to draft their letters using the Letter Template Sheet.
Step 6. Explain strategies for finding an author’s address:
- Check the author’s website.
- Find the author’s publisher and send the letter in care of the publisher.
- If time permits, allow students to use the Internet to locate the author’s address. You may also choose to assign this research as homework.
Step 7. Have students practice addressing their own letters, following the guidelines they learned in the How to Write Letters of Encouragement lesson plan.
Step 8. Remind students of the due date to bring in a stamp from home so that their letters can be mailed along with their classmates’ letters.
Step 9. Use the Teach Students How to Address and Mail a Letter lesson to guide students to complete and mail their letters.
At home extension: Distribute the family activity sheet and have kids continue the letter writing fun at home!