Grade 4

Letter Writing in Grade 4

New York State Academy for Teaching and Learning


TITLE OF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE: REVISED FINAL DRAFT: Letter Writing – grade 4 by Pam Joswick & Grace Vento-Zogby
Describe the purpose, objective, or focus of the learning experience, including: the learning standard(s) and the specific performance indicators being assessed;a description of where this experience fits into the school or course curriculum; and what students need to know and/or be able to do to succeed with this learning experience.Writing letters and notes gives students an authentic purpose to practice their writing skills. Children enjoy writing letters and love to receive a reply. The type of letter-formal or informal-can be varied according to the teaching objective. English/Language Arts Standard 4: Student will read, write, listen and speak for social interaction. Benchmark 4.4: Exchange friendly notes, cards, and letters with friends, relatives, and pen pals to keep in touch and to commemorate special occasions.
Describe, in narrative form, the actions of students and teachers and the interactions among and between students and teachers, including how the learning experience:supports student progress toward attainment of the learning standards;reflects current scholarship in your field and “best” classroom practice; and incorporates technology (when used) into instruction to enhance learning and to assess student performance. Students in 4th grade will be exposed to a variety of letters. They will compare and contract the features, styles, formats, etc. Students will be required to write a letter using Microsoft Works. Each student will write and mail a letter for an authentic purpose. Students will decide the type of letter they want to write. Some examples:Pen pals: write to someone in another class or in another school. Share your interests and ask questions your pen pal can answer in a return letter.Book character: Write a letter or a note to a favorite book character. Note (the teacher can arrange for another class to answer the letters as if they were the book characters.)Author: Write a letter to an author you especially enjoy. Tell why you like his or her stories and/or characters.Requesting information: Write to an organization requesting information on a subject you are studying.Other Possibilities: Letters to senior citizens, get-well letters, letter to a classmate who has moved.
Describe the procedures used to accommodate the range of abilities in the classroom, including students with disabilities, limited English proficiency, or bilingual students, such as:instructional modifications made; and physical modifications of the classroom setting.Forth graders will be familiar with the basic skills involved in using Microsoft Works. Students will have access to computers in the classroom as well as the computer lab. 1:1 instruction will be available to each student by the computer TA, as well as classroom teacher.
For each aspect of the learning experience, state the amount of time for: planning;implementation (note the length of your class period, where appropriate, and the number of days to implement the experience); andassessment3 class periods of 45 minutes to compare/contrast types of letters. 3 class periods of 45 minutes to draft and finalize a letter.
Please note any extraordinary or unique resources (human or material) needed to successfully complete this experience: for the student; and for the teacher. The following books are examples that the teacher may use to launch this experience:Let’s Go Traveling by Robin Rector Krupp, Don’t Forget to Write by Martina Selway, The Jolly Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg, Dear Mr. Blueberry by Simon James, Letters From Felix by Annette Langen & Constanza Droop. Students will be provided a variety of paper to print their letters. They may choose to create their own stationery. Art supplies will be provided to students wishing to do so. They may also create stationery using Microsoft Publisher.
Describe the:manner in which students are involved in developing assessment criteria, maintaining an awareness of their progress, and reflection on their work;techniques used to collect evidence of student progress toward meeting the learning standards’ performance indicators (eg. , observation, group discussions, journal writing, use of alternative testing techniques); and tools used to document student progress (eg., scoring guides, rating scales, check-lists). Please submit these tools.The fourth graders will create a chart identifying the elements needed in writing a variety of letters (ie., friendly letter, business letter, formal note to a friend, etc.) A rubric will be created based on this chart.
Send three or four samples of student work:that reflect different levels of student performance; and include comments reflecting the basis for teacher’s assessment.NA
Please offer personal comments on the learning experience:why this lesson was developed for the specific learning standard(s) and performance indicator(s);what you learned from implementing this lesson; and how the lesson was reviewed by peers prior to submission and what you learned from the review.