Learn to Write Letters

Correspondence with Fairy Tale Characters

Learn to write letters by corresponding with favorite fairy tale characters! It's easy to teach students to write a formal letter addressed to a prince, princess, elf, or dragon!

In these days of email, texting, and social media, knowing how to write a formal letter seems a quaint art. However, proper letter-writing skills often prove invaluable in the future. Help your students learn to write letters by engaging them in imaginative correspondance with familiar fictional characters. This is an excellent creative writing activity which offers plenty of ideas for composing letters based on your students' natural interests. For more information on the nine ways of "being smart", visit this page describing multiple intelligences. Below are some suggestions for writing letters to the fairy tale realms through the lens of how your students learn best. Use these ideas to stimulate a lively class discussion!

Learn to Write Letters through a Multiple Intelligence Lens

  • Verbal-Linguistic: You enjoy discovering the meaning of names. You are especially curious about Rumpelstiltskin's name! Write to him and ask!

  • Spatial: The castle has never looked so grand as it does in preparation for the ball. Write to Cinderella and share decorating tips!

  • Bodily-Kinesthetic: You've been invited as a guest of honor to the ball. You're worried about making your moves on the dance floor. Write to the Prince and ask for suggestions to improve your steps.

  • Logical-Mathematical: You are King Midas's accountant. Write to him, describing how much wealth he has in gold, silver, jewels, and other assets.

  • Interpersonal: You find it amazing that Seven Dwarves could all get along under one roof! Write to Snow White and ask her for her perspective, since she also became part of that large family!

  • Intrapersonal: You need a secluded workshop with enough space for your many designs and inventions. You've heard that Rapunzel's former tower is available for rent. Write to the witch and ask for information on monthly fees and amenities.

  • Musical: You've been hired as the disc jockey for the upcoming royal ball. Write to Sleeping Beauty and share your music suggestions. You don't want the guests dozing on the dance floor!

  • Naturalist: You are an expert in the care and training of dragons. Write to the king of the realm and explain how these unusual animals can add much value to his kingdom!

  • Existential: Write to Merlin the Magician, asking for his opinions regarding the greatest issues facing Avalon today.
As you can see, a little "out-of-the-box" imagination with these old tales makes for enthusiastic writing! Gather a collection of fairy tale picture books and anthologies. As a class, begin to brainstorm unique spins and perspectives for creative letter-writing topics. Here are two other pages to visit: writing fairy tales and fairy tale writing prompts. They'll also stimulate your thinking with fresh ideas as you help your students learn to write letters.

Now let's get down to the business at hand: teaching your class how to write a formal letter.

Learn to Write Letters in Paragraph Format

Prewriting:
  • Step 1: After you've discussed the endless possibilities for creative correspondance with your students, teach the following format of a formal letter:
  • Date: The date the letter is written
  • Greeting: Opening to the recepient, using "Dear-"
  • Body: Writing the letter in paragraph form
  • Closing: Saying good-bye to the recepient, using "Sincerely", or "Warmly yours", or "Kind regards", etc.
  • Signature: The name of the writer
Drafting:
  • Step 2: Using proper paragraph format for the body of the text, have students write to their chosen characters about the topic of their choice. Visit this page for easy tips on teaching the parts of a paragraph. Remind students to include a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.
Revising:
  • Step 3: Have students read their letters aloud to themselves or to a partner, listening for weak sentences that need strengthening. Make appropriate revisions.
Editing:
  • Step 4: Edit for proper spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure, as well as proper letter format. For evaluation purposes, check for the following:
  • Is the letter in the proper format?
  • Is the body paragraph indented and are the sentences complete?
  • Does the letter use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation?
  • Can each student verbally identify the five parts of a letter?
Publishing:
  • Step 5: Neatly written or typed letters, together with bright, accompanying illustrations, make a whimsical bulletin board display! For a humorous, light-hearted afternoon, let your students read their letters aloud to their classmates.

Learn to write letters to the magical, mythical realm of fairy tales, practicing a valuable skill in a whimsical way!

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