Curriculum support material

Teachers
Letter Link: Let's write a letter

In this section you will find curriculum-linked education resource material to support literacy and letter writing activities in your classroom. The lesson and activity ideas cover all learning areas and are arranged accordingly.

The education resource materials have been designed for a national audience (taking into consideration the new Australian Curriculum) and offer a range of learning experiences for primary students. They are copyright free for use by Australian teachers and are provided in both PDF and HTML formats. The student activity sheets are also provided in SMART Notebook format where applicable.

Learning outcomes

Using the curriculum support material on this website will assist students in achieving the following outcomes.

Students will:

  • explore different forms of communication, from the past to the present
  • discover the history of letter writing and the different types of letters
  • acknowledge and use the correct conventions of writing personal and business letters and addressing envelopes.

Lesson and activity ideas

Some lesson ideas and student activity sheets require students to read information or play the interactives found on this website.

 

English

  • Students to use the "Let's write a letter" interactive to discover how to write a personal or business letter.
  • Students to use the "I can write a personal letter – contract" to record their achievement in mastering each step of writing a personal letter.
  • Students to use the "I can write a business letter – contract" to record their achievement in mastering each step of writing a business letter.
  • Students to write a letter to themselves in the future (ie write a letter to be opened when they are 25, 30, 40 etc). They should include their wishes for what they want to achieve in their lives.
  • Students to design their own system of hieroglyphs and then use it to write a letter to a friend.
  • Students to discuss "What would happen if your favourite author had told his / her story instead of writing it down?" and "Why do people write things down?"
  • Establish a letter writing time each week when students can practise their letter writing skills by writing to each other. Students to set up a posting box and class delivery system for the letters. The "Craft templates" section contains instructions and templates on how to make your own street posting box.
  • Students to complete the "What's wrong with this letter?" activity sheet to find and correct spelling, grammatical and layout errors in a fictional letter.
  • Students to complete the "Put the letter back together" activity sheet by cutting out and pasting sections of writing to correctly form a personal letter.
  • Students to complete one or both of the "Cloze procedure" activity sheets to fill in the missing words in the sentences about communication, letters and letter writing.
  • Students to complete the "Comprehension letter" activity sheets to read sample letters, then answer a series of questions relating to each letter.
  • Students to discuss the similarities and differences between language that is acceptable in personal and business letters. Students to bring in some examples of personal and business letters from home (with permission).
  • Students to write a procedure about how to write a personal or business letter or address an envelope.
  • Students to write a story pretending they are a letter or a postcard.
  • As a class, brainstorm words about writing and posting letters. Perhaps some of these could be the spelling words for the week.
  • Students to brainstorm and list different types and styles of letters that could be written. For example – thank you letters, invitations, business and personal letters.
  • In pairs, students to discuss how letters can be used as a bridge between people. Brainstorm and list ideas for topics that could be included in a personal letter.

Student activity sheets

Student activity sheet solutions

History

  • Students to research the history of communication and create a timeline of significant events / inventions.
  • Students to select a period of history and write a letter to a person from that period explaining what society is like today.
  • Students to discuss the historical impact of letters. What do we learn about the lives of past generations through reading letters?
  • Students to interview an elderly person and ask how letter writing and communication have changed in his / her lifetime.
  • Students to research the history of oral story telling and present their findings in an oral report.

Mathematics

  • Students to record the number of items they receive in their letterbox over a period of two weeks. Sort the items into groups (eg catalogues, handwritten letters, bills, magazines) and graph the results.
  • Students to develop a coded alphabet, then write a letter using the code and deliver it to a friend to decipher.
  • Students to survey their class / year level / friends about the issues that most affect them at school. Record the responses and display them in a graph. Students to select one issue and write a letter to a teacher explaining the issue and how it could be resolved.
  • Students to write a short letter to a friend, allocate a cost to each word or letter, and then calculate the cost of their letter.

Science / Technology

  • Students to investigate how email or text messaging works and then brainstorm possible communication technologies of the future.
  • Students to research historical writing implements, then design the ultimate writing tool.
  • Students to experiment with writing on different surfaces with various implements or materials (eg charcoal or chalk). Students should make predictions before they experiment and record their results.

The Arts

  • Students to research "cartouche" and then make one that represents their name.
  • Students to make recycled paper out of scrap paper and old newspapers and decorate.
  • Students to design a personalised seal to use when writing to friends. The seal could be printed on labels and stuck on the back of envelopes.
  • Students to create a birthday card for someone special and post it to them.

Health and Physical Education

  • Students to discuss the feelings they experience when they send or receive a card, letter or gift in the mail.

LOTE / Languages

  • Students to research a non-English alphabet and try to use it to write a short greeting to a friend.
  • Students to investigate how to say "I have sent you a letter", or "I have received your letter", in a language other than English.

Lesson and activity ideas downloadable PDF