Here is my mini-lesson.
Definition of what is being taught: How to write a letter
Objective: for children to understand the very basics of letter writing-communication with someone to share a thought, idea, invitation
The week before actually introducing the lesson, I will read different picture books to the children about writing a letter. The books I will be reading will be:
Dear Bear by Joanna Harrison The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg
Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin Dear Peter Rabbit by Alma Flor Ada
A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James
Dear Annie by Judith Caseley
I will gather the children together in circle and talk about the different books we have been reading. I will show the books and ask both open and closed ended questions to ask them about the similarities in these books. I will explain that today we are going to learn how to write a letter. I will ask them why they think people write letters and allow them to talk about it.
Modeling: I will explain that I will be using this paper (lined chart paper) to write a letter to my son. I will start it
Dear Justin, (remember all the letters had this at the top. It’s called the salutation. That’s a fancy word for the greeting)
I want to tell him that it snowed. So on the next line I will write
It snowed today.
Then I will sign it
At the top of the paper I am going to draw snow falling from the sky.
Then I will explain to them they are going to write a letter to someone. They will need to do the salutations-that’s the Dear part, one sentence and their name at the bottom. As I am talking about it, I will point to those parts on the letter. I will give them some time to talk amongst each other who they think they will write a letter to and what will they say. Then I will ask them who they are going to write a letter to and what are they going to say. We will go over a few ideas together and I will ask some of the children who they are going to write a letter to.
Then I will show them the paper they will be using which is a piece of lined paper at the bottom and a section at the top to draw a picture. I will put tape that paper next to my letter and write my letter to Justin on that paper and draw some snow. This way they can see a true model of what they will be doing as well as a larger model if they need to look at it to refresh their memory.
Activity: The children can go to their table and write their letter to whomever they would like to. I will walk around and answer any questions they may have.
Differentiation for student who is struggling: For this/these children I will have a pre-made letter ready for them.
Today I __________
This will make the task easier for them since there is less writing to do. If the child/children are unable to control a pencil, I will have them dictate their letter to me and have them draw the picture.
Differentiation for advanced student: For this/these children, I will ask them to write 2 sentences in their letter, instead of drawing a picture.
At the end of the activity, we will gather back together again and talk about the letters they wrote. Who did you write a letter to? What did you say?