How do you teach your students how to write friendly letters? In this post I’ll share fun friendly letter activities that will help your students learn the parts of a letter, how to write a friendly letter, and how to address an envelope to mail a letter.
Inside this post you’ll find:
- How to write a friendly letter
- The parts of a letter
- The purpose of writing friendly letters
- Friendly letter topics
- An example of a friendly letter
- Learn the journey of a letter once it is mailed
- A list of friendly letter writing ideas
- Friendly letter lesson plans
- Letter writing templates
There are a multitude of social and emotional benefits to teaching students to write friendly letters. But the biggest academic benefit I’ve seen is that writing letters helps students become better writers by making them better storytellers.
What is a Friendly Letter?
A friendly letter is a personal, informal letter you would write to a friend, a family member, a peer, or someone else you know. You may also write a friendly letter to teachers, neighbors, and pen pals.
What is the purpose of a friendly letter?
You can write a friendly letter for a lot of different reasons. Most often they are written to say hello, ask a question, thank someone, invite them somewhere, or to inform them of something. Friendly letters can also be written to congratulate someone, send best wishes, or to share a story.
An Example of a Friendly Letter
Here is an example of a friendly letter. For which purpose was this letter written?
Purpose of a friendly letter PowerPoint lesson (source)
Friendly Letter Topics
By writing letters students learn manners and polite ways to address people. These are some of the topics most often written about in a friendly letter.
- Thanking someone
- Inviting a friend
- Apologizing to a friend
- Sending a reminder to someone
- Requesting help or information
- Congratulating a friend
- Wishing someone a speedy recovery or a happy birthday
How to Write a Friendly Letter
This kid-friendly How to Write a Letter video made by the United States Postal Service (USPS) is a great one to share with your students. Students learn how to write a friendly letter a friend or a family member, how to address an envelope, how to mail a letter, and the journey a letter takes after being sent, through the post office, and delivered by a mail carrier!
The United States Postal Service website has some interesting articles and a fun Letters to Santa Program during the holidays.
The US Postal Service also has a USPS YouTube Channel with lots of videos you may want to use in the classroom.
Parts of a Letter and Friendly Letter Example
A friendly letter has five parts:
Each part adds important information to the letter. The date tells when the letter was written. The greeting is where you say hello or greet the person you are writing to.
Parts of a letter PowerPoint lesson (source)
Every letter has a body. The body is where you write the main message of the letter. A letter’s closing comes after the main message at the end of the letter. It is where you say goodbye to the person you are writing to.
Then finally, after the closing the writer signed the letter in what we call the signature.
One thing I teach my students to do is to ask questions in their letter or at least end their letter with a question. That way the recipient has something to say when they respond to the letter and write back to the sender.
Friendly letter PowerPoint lesson (source)
Fun Friendly Letter Activities & Writing Ideas
This list is just a small number of ways you can have your students write letters.
- Write Friday Letters to families and caregivers
- Write reminder letters to families and caregivers about upcoming conferences
- Make a list of letter-writing ideas with your students
- Write a letter to your future self in ten years
- Become pen pals with another class
- Write letters to favorite authors
- Write a letter to someone an invite them to speak to or teach something to your class
- Write to companies to thank, inform, or persuade them to do something.
- Write a letter to the company that makes your favorite toy or a restaurant that makes your favorite food telling them why you like it.
- Write thank you letters to volunteers, visitors, and school staff
- Write to the mayor of your town about an idea you have that will improve something in your city
Write letters to a favorite author
This is an example of one of the letters students wrote to our favorite author, Tomie dePaola, during our Tomie dePaola author study. Students make Strega Nona Cottage Booklets to hold their letters before sending them off to Tomie dePaola.
Write Friday Letters to Families and Care Givers
One way I keep parents, families, and caregivers connected to my clasroom is by having my students write Friday Letters. Writing these weekly letters helps to foster a home and school connection and I gain valuable insight about my students and they gain social, emotional, and academic benefits.
Friendly Letter Lesson Plans
If you need detailed, ready to use friendly letter lesson plans I’ve created a no-prep, easy to teach unit that includes everything you need to teach a unit on writing friendly letters.
The unit includes
- minilessons on PowerPoint
- parts of a letter posters
- friendly letter worksheets
- interactive notebook pages
- letter writing templates
- task cards
- friendly letter writing assessment
See the friendly letter teaching unit in my TPT shop!
Free Letter Writing Templates
Start writing Friday letters with your students! Grab this FREE Friday Letters starter kit with letter writing templates, book covers, and editable parent letter.
Try these friendly letter writing activities with your students to help them build social skills and become better writers. Save this post for when you plan your letter writing unit!