Will Technology Take Over?
They say that writing letters will eventually be a lost art and soon everything will be done with technology. I don’t know about you, but this makes me sad. I think that letter writing is both important and valuable, and who doesn’t love receiving a handwritten note in the mail. But don’t get me wrong, I love technology too. Confession: I have an Amazon Echo in almost every room of my house and don’t know what I’d do without my Alexa. But I also have a stash of stationery and cards for when I want to write something with a more personal touch. To me, a handwritten note or letter will always show more gratitude than a text, email or Facebook message.
Personal and Meaningful
You might be saying that texts, emails and messages can also be personal and meaningful and I’m sure they can be. But shouldn’t our students also be taught how special a handwritten letter or note can be? Keep reading and you’ll find out what drives this passion.
Letters Hold Precious Memories
When I was preparing to teach a group of first graders how to write a friendly letter, it occurred to me that I should also show them why I am teaching them this. I found out some old letters that my father had written me that I hadn’t seen in years. I asked myself why I had even saved them. Then, I read them and oh man! – the waterworks began. I discovered that these letters held some very precious memories; beautiful memories of a time that had passed. It would break my heart if anything ever happened to them.
It’s the Handwriting
When I read these letters, it wasn’t just the message that got to me. It was the handwriting. My dad’s handwriting. He has passed away, so having something that he wrote to me by hand, is very sentimental. Letters can be so sentimental. This note (below), my dad wrote to me during my very first year of teaching first grade. He was so proud of me. I asked him to make some personal chalkboards for my students and he did so with such pride. When he gave them to me, this note was attached. Notice there is no date on this… I used that as a teaching point in my lesson. “Be sure to add the date because later, someone might want to know when it was written.”
A Letter from My Dad
This letter above was also written to me, by my dad. He did use all of the parts of a Friendly Letter, so during the lesson we talked about every one of them. My dad’s handwriting is not easy to read, so I used that as another teaching point. “Always use your best handwriting so your friend can read it.”
The HEADING – the date. The GREETING – Dear Carrie. The BODY – His message. The CLOSING – Love. The SIGNATURE – Dad.
This note and letter turned out to be so helpful when teaching the students to write letters, and they were excited to write a letter of their own. It has been my experience that kids love to write letters. They are familiar and comfortable with them because they are writing about what they know, THEMSELVES.
Why Letter Writing is Important
In a time where so many things are driven by technology, having a letter writing lesson would be a great time to step back and talk about other ways to communicate. Having ways to communicate with other humans is a basic need. You might think that since we have easier ways to communicate, like using technology, that we don’t need this old way. But I think it is still important and kids will too, if they are exposed to it in a positive way.
Here are some reasons why to keep letter writing around:
- writing letters is a different way to communicate
- useful skills are used when writing
- kids like writing what is familiar to them
- letters can be keepsakes
- writing letters doesn’t involve technology
- letter writing is a lifelong skill
Writing Letters in Your Classroom
There are so many ways you can use Letters Writing in your classroom. Here are some ideas:
- Pen Pals – Either another classroom in your school, your district or another city or even country.
- Nursing Homes – What elderly person wouldn’t love a letter from a child???
- School Staff – Encouragement or Gratitude
- Letter to politician, superintendent, etc.
- Family Members
Friendly Letter Stationery / Templates
This set includes an anchor chart lesson along with several different templates.
Friendly Letter Templates for Gratitude and Kindness
There are 6 Different Friendly Letter Resources – Check them out HERE.
Don’t forget to ‘pin’ the image below to your Teaching Resources Pinterest board for future reference.
Thank you for stopping by!