Saturday, February 9, 2013

Encouraging Letter writing

Since she could pick up a crayon, Miss K has always loved making cards and pictures to give to everyone. These days she loves to write letters on her own handmade stationery.  In early December she had learnt all about the components of a letter.  We got hands on practice by writing to Santa Claus. The letters the Piwi’s got in return got Miss K thinking about who else she could write to. Getting mail is fun!
It is more than fun though, the Piwi's learn a lot from writing all these letters. For example:

  • Formal letter writing requires planning and following a set formula.  It is a good contrast to the creative writing and poetry Miss K also enjoys. The planning and writing of a ‘rough copy’ first has also allowed her to take more responsibility for proofreading her work.

  • Miss K really takes pride in the ‘good copy’ of her letters, her handwriting is getting neater and she is expressing an interest in starting lessons in cursive.

  • The Piwi’s are also practicing patience (waiting for replies), caring (writing a note to brighten someone’s day), and gratitude.

With the uncertainty of the US Postal service in the news lately and the prevalence of e-communication, the art of letter writing may seem obsolete to many. I will continue to encourage my children to write letters and send letters.  Eventually they may not be sending them in the post but they will still need to be writing letters in some format. It is also a starting point for teaching other writing formats such as reports and essays.

 Here are some of the ideas we have on our list to send  letters to (or have written already)

  • Writing to the President about their concerns address 
  • Asking questions about a PBS kids show they like address
  • Write to a favorite author and tell them what you like about their books -we have found most of the author's have postal address on their website (usually for their publisher).
  • Write to local fire station, Police station thanking them for their service
  • Thank our Service people at Adopt a platoon and
  •  Write to Queen Elizabeth II -Miss K thinks this is really cool! address 
  • Send a greeting to a Disney Character -we just did last month and Miss K received an autographed Postcard. Couponing to Disney has two addresses you can write to. We are going to try the second one soon.