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Build a Sense of Audience with Letter Writing
october 27, 2008
Last spring, second grade teacher Nancy Moats (Bailly Elementary in Chesterton, IN) had her students write letters saying “goodbye” to winter or “hello” to spring. And just recently, first grade teacher Nina Snyder (Meadow’s Edge Elementary in Mishawaka, IN) shared that she and her young writers discussed what they would miss about summer. The students then wrote letters to summer telling her all the things they would miss. It included things they saw, felt, and tasted during the season.
Fabulous idea, ladies! And just listen to the writer voice these letters elicited! Download samples.
A sense of audience increases the writer’s care-about-it factor. It gives them a more purposeful reason to write. As you notice a change in the seasons, when the autumn leaves drifting quickly to the ground or the first robin of spring appears in your yard, you might want to encourage your own students to write “Goodbye-Hello” letters.
NOTE: Intermediate and secondary teachers, this is also a fabulous writing activity to target personification. Try it as a simple quick write, journal entry, or bell work activity. It doesn’t have to take long or produce an entire piece that goes through the entire writing process.