Did you know April is National Card & Letter Writing Month? Growing up, I always loved running to our mailbox to see if I had received a letter. Whenever I was disappointed, my mom would say, "If you want to get mail, you need to write letters." I still love to receive "real mail" and cards!
So when my friend, Monica at Fourth Grade Frenzy, suggested we have our classes be pen pals, I jumped at the opportunity! We are in California and she is in New Jersey, so our classes love that we can learn about fourth graders in another state! Monica has a terrific friendly letter writing product that makes teaching the format simple. You can check it out here.
Besides the excitement of receiving real mail, there are at least 5 other benefits to letter writing:
Reading and writing skills improve as students practice their writing skills and organize their thoughts onto paper. They are writing for a real purpose and a real audience. Some of my kids who moan & groan when it comes to writing, eagerly want to begin writing back to their pen pals! And since their letters are going to a real person, we've had many lessons about the purpose & importance of using correct grammar, proofreading for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. (This is not texting!) They have total buy-in after self-righteously pointing out errors in letters received and they want to make a good impression on their pen pal, as well as make their letters understandable.
Having pen pals has been such a positive experience; and it's been great to motivate our students during this long end-of-the-year stretch. Has your class written pen pal letters to another class? Click on Monica's button below to read about her pen pal experience!