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NOTE: Ask your site teacher for guidance and appropriate text(s) to use. Lessons must be
purposeful, based on data, have clear and appropriate learning goals for the students you are
teaching, and aligned with the state core standards at the grade-level you are teaching.

Name: Katelyn Hester

Date: 10/18/14
Grade Level:
1st grade
Purpose of the lesson: is to explicitly teach students what a letter is, how to write each part of a letter and to
become more proficient writers.
SWBAT write a letter to the school principal and a classmate by following standard letter writing
format and using correct grammar & punctuation, as a whole class and individually.
Learning Goal written on the board:
I will be able to write a letter to the school principal and a classmate by following standard letter
writing format and using correct grammar & punctuation. I will write to the principal with my whole
class and to my classmate by myself.
Utah State Standards covered:
Language Standard 1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when
Language Standard 2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation,
and spelling when writing.
letter writing

Interesting/appropriate TEXTS for lesson purpose:

Text the teacher reads aloud to students:
Dear Polar Bear by Barry Ablett
Text the students read with teacher support or
independently: (NONE)

Teacher MODELING and SCAFFOLDING: (this will include declarative, conditional, and procedural knowledge of
any strategies)
Declarative: Today we are going to learn about letter writing. A letter is a piece of paper where we write something
to another person, then place it in an envelope and mail it to them or give it to them. A letter contains the date, a
greeting, a body, a closing, and a signature.
Conditional: We write letters when we want to communicate with or talk to someone and we cannot over phone or
email and sometimes face-to-face. Also we can send letters to others when we want to thank someone for
something nice they did for us.
Procedural: We will do this today by first reading the story Dear Polar Bear and then writing a letter together to the
principal that contains all the parts of a letter. Then you will get a chance to write a letter to each other.

GUIDED PRACTICE: (teacher and students together)

As I read the story I will point out the parts of the letter I want you to remember. Start reading story Look, Polar
Bear wrote the date at the beginning of his letter Read the date. We know this is the date because it is in the top
right corner and has a month and day in it.
Read the Greeting. This part that says Dear (Insert Name) is the greeting because it starts with Dear and has
someones name with it. We always start our letters with Dear and then the persons name because we want to
tell the person who we are writing to that this letter is for them and not for someone else.
This next big part of the letter is the body of the letter. Do you see how it is really big and takes up most of the
letter? That is why it is called the body because it contains what the person who wrote the letter actually wants to
tell the other person they are writing to. Listen as I read you the body of the letter. Read the body of the letter. Was
Polar Bear able to tell his friend what he wanted to in the body of the letter?

The next part of the letter is the closing; Polar Bear closes this letter with Sincerely. We know that Sincerely, is
the closing because it is below the body of the letter and has one word and then a comma after it. After the closing
comes the signature. The signature is where the person writing the letter writes their own name. We write our own
names at the end of the letter so the person receiving the letter knows who it is from.
Now that we know what all of the parts of a letter are, I will read you the rest of the letters in the story and point out
the parts in each letter. Point out the date, greeting, body, closing, and signature of each letter in the story as you
After Reading the Story:
Now that we have read the story what parts of the letter do we remember? As students list the parts grab the
papers you have printed out and put them up on the white board.. Now that we know what the parts of the letter
are and have seen examples of letters in our story we are going to write a letter together to the principal of our
school. Pull out a large sticky lined post-it-note (like we use in reading methods) to write the letter on.
Writing the Letter Together:
Date and Greeting
Alright, we always start our letter out by writing the date in the top right hand corner of the paper. Who knows what
the date is today? Write the correct date on the paper and tape the letter paper next to it.
Now that we have written the date we go down to the next line on the left side of the paper and write our greeting.
There are many greetings we can use but we are going to write our greetings by writing Dear and then the
persons name who we are writing the letter to. Who are we writing our letter to? Write the greeting on the paper
and tape the Greeting label next to it. After we write the persons name in the greeting we ALWAYS put a comma
because it lets us know as we are reading to pause and move down to the next line. It also tells us that the body
comes next.
Our body is started right under the name of the person in the greeting. This is called an indent. We always indent
when we start a new paragraph. In the body of our letters we are going to write two telling sentences and one
question. A telling sentence is one where it tells the person who is reading the letter what we are thinking. These
can be sentences such as I think you are so nice. or Thank you for being an awesome person! In the letters we
write we NEVER want to write something mean like I hate you or You are mean because those types of
sentences hurt the other persons feelings and we want our letters to make them feel good. What else do you think
could be a telling sentence? Have students give examples.
What telling sentences should we put in our letter to the principal? Write the first telling sentence. As you write the
telling sentence point out that we always put a capital letter at the beginning of our sentences. Notice, as I am
writing my sentence I am leaving spaces between words. Remember, when we write we always put a space in
between each word so we know where a word begins and ends and can read our writing easier. We are at the end of
our sentence now. What do we always put at the end of a telling sentence? Have students answer a period or
exclamation point and end the sentence with a period.
What should we put for our second telling sentence? Write second telling sentence reminding them again that we
always put a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence..
Now that we have our second telling sentence we need to add our question sentence at the end. What is a
question? Have students give some examples. Correct! A question is a sentence that we ask that we want an
answer to. What is a question you want to ask the principal? Write the question down and put the Body label next
to the finished body of the letter.
Closing and Signature
Now that we have our body done we need to write our closing. Our closing is written in the middle of the line right
underneath the body. In our closings we can write Love, Sincerely, or From. Which one do you think we should
use for our letter? Write the closing and tape the Closing label next to it. At the end of our closing we also put a
comma that tells us to read the next line down. Now we are only missing our signature. Our signature is written right
underneath the closing. We always end the letter with our own name but because there is a large group of us we are
going to write Mrs. Taylors and Mrs. Hesters Class. Write the signature and tape the Signature label next to it.
We now have a completed letter.
INDEPENDENT PRACTICE: (students on their own or with a partner)
I want you to now go back to your desk and wait for me to hand out the letter paper we will be using. Send students
back to their desks.
I am going to hand you a letter and let you pick out a stick with a classmates name who you will write the letter to.

Even if you do not like the person, is it ok for you to write something like I dont like you or I wish you were not in
my class? Let students answer.
Also, I do not want you to groan or complain if you do not like the person because as we write more letters you will
have to write to every single person in the class. Pass out the papers and one name to each person.
Now that you have your papers I want you to write your letter to the classmate whose name you have. Teacher will
walk around the room and help students sound out words they need help with and help students with any other
thing they need.
3. READING ENGAGEMENT: What engagement principle(s) are you choosing for this lesson?
____x____choice, _____x____collaboration, __x______building concepts, ___x_____relevance/real world interaction
Briefly describe HOW you will engage your students in this lesson.
Students are able to contribute what sentences they want in the letter to the principal. I will ask many questions
that get them engaged in letter writing so they are active participants in the process. Also, they get to pick out the
stick of who they write their own letter to which makes them feel like they got more of a choice instead of my
assigning them a name of a classmate. They also use collaboration during the letter writing to the principal which is
real world interaction. Writing to a class mate is real world interaction as well. Students are also learning a new
concept how to write a letter
4. DIFFERENTIATION. How will you simplify or provide challenge for students who need it?
For students who need support with remembering the parts of the letter I will give them a paper with the parts of a
letter labeled on it to help them write the letter in the correct format or some parts of the letter filled in (such as the
month, dear and sincerely.)
For students who struggle with writing I will have them write one telling sentence and one question sentence. I also
will give them more help with sounding out words and coming up with what they want to say.
For students who need to be challenged I will have them write three telling sentences and one or two question
sentences. I also will have them help their neighbors with sounding out words and writing their letter in the correct
5. WRITING/ASSESSMENT TOOL: How will you know that your students understand your purpose? What will
students be doing to demonstrate their learning? (assessment tool).
I will use the letters each student writes to determine if they were able to meet the objective. I will be looking for
correct punctuation as well as capital letters and spaces in the right places.
This lesson went really well considering some of my students had never seen a letter before. When I started reading
the book and pointing out the parts of a letter my students were all fascinated with the book and all the different
letters in the story. I think it also helped that the book was very engaging because the letters popped up out of their
envelopes so the reader feels like they are opening the envelope just like Polar Bear. I could not have picked a more
engaging book containing letters to read to my students.
They also did really well with remembering the parts of a letter when I had finished reading the book. Each student I
called on was able to remember at least one part of a letter and all my students were raising their hand to share
what they remembered about the parts of letters. Writing to the principal also went very smoothly as my students
were so willing to help with coming up with what we needed to write in our letter. They loved that we were doing a
letter all together as a class and that they were going to be able to write their own letters after. Every single one of
my students participated in helping write the letter to the principal, whether it was by coming up with ideas of what
we wanted to say or raising their hand to vote on which sentences they wanted to put into the letter. I was so glad I
engaged them in this way with the letter writing process.
After writing the letter to the principal it was then their turn to write their own letters. Even though I had told my
students not to complain about who they end up writing to I still had a few ewws and UGH nos and I had to
remind my students more than once that when they say things like that they are hurting someone elses feelings
which is not nice, and that they would not want someone to do that about them. After those few initial moments
their attitudes changed and they went and wrote their letters. They all were really engaged in writing their own
letters which shocked me since there are a few students in my class who are hardly engaged in anything long
enough to finish it. All of my students wrote a letter to their classmates using the format we had discussed and
there were just a few students I had to keep reminding of format we were using and I kept directing them to look up
at the example we had done together.

When I collected their letters I was pleasantly surprised. There were a few students who did an outstanding job with
their best handwriting and almost all the words spelled correctly or close to. Those letters were amazing to see
because they really took their time writing the letter and would either ask me or my site teacher how to spell a word
or they would be a SMARTIE speller and sound the word out slowly to catch every single sound in the word. While
there were only two or three letters like that there were many more letters that were almost as well written. These
letters had good handwriting and correct punctuation but the words were difficult to tell what they were due to the
student who wrote them not hearing all the sounds in the words as they were writing them down. I was so happy to
see that most of the students who wrote this way still used correct spacing and punctuation in their letters as that
was one of the things I was looking for in their writing.
The final group of letters I received definitely needed some help with spelling and spacing between words and
looking back I realized I did not give as much help to some of these students as I should have. The three students
who wrote these letters are my students who struggle with writing most of the time so I was not shocked at the
letters but I realized I could have helped these students more by helping them sound out some of the words they
were writing and helping them put spaces between their words. Had I given some of my students the option of using
our Space Men to help with spacing between words it would have gotten rid of most of the problems in their
writing. After determining where each word ended and another one began I was able to read parts of their letters
but the Space Men definitely would have helped. I also realized I need to work more on phonemic awareness and
letter-sound correspondence with the three students who wrote these letters. If these three students learn to listen
for each sound in a word and know what letter may say that sound then their writing will get a lot better and be
more readable which is partly what this whole letter writing experience is about- proper writing!
To move on with the letter writing, my students will write letters to the rest of their classmates during center time
each day and then putting it in our classroom mailbox to be passed out the next day. This will allow them to practice
writing letters with the correct format and allow me to see their growth daily. I also have been writing them letters
after school every Tuesday since the second day of school and I have started incorporating the parts of the letters
into my own letters to provide examples of what a proper letter is to my students. In my last letter I also started
mixing parts of my letter around and then in my letter ask my students what is wrong with my letter and to fix my
mistakes. My site teacher informed me that they loved it and that I should continue doing it because having my
students fix my letter is a great review for them of what each part of the letter is and where it is located. They also
thoroughly enjoy just having me write a letter to them that they then read on a day I am not there and I have had all
of them write me a letter back just because they could. They really are enjoying the opportunity to do letter writing.

ED PS 5350/6321 Lesson Plan Grading Rubric

NOTE: Grad students: YOU will turn in ALL FOUR Lessons.

Please staple this rubric to the front of your typed lesson

Remember to turn in lesson plans in a file folder that has your name on the tab.
Name: Katelyn Hester_____

Lesson #_2__ Lesson Focus: _Letter Writing__

I will be using the following Grading Rubric for your Lessons. Each Lesson will be worth a possible 15
points. If you do not earn 15 points, you may revise your lesson ONCE to meet the point requirement.
Revisions must be turned in on/before December 10th.
I. The student provides clear objectives that follow the SWBAT formula.

The lessons objective is clearly stated in the appropriate SWBAT formula. State
Standards included.
The lessons objective is purposeful and relevant, but not in the SWBAT formula or
standards not included.
The lessons objective is not clear, not relevant, not complete, or missing entirely.
Standards not included.
II. The student appropriately reflects on the strengths and/or areas of refinement of the
lesson (or part of the lesson) and provides recommendations for where to go next (if

Student reflects on the lesson taught, students reactions, etc. Strengths and/or
area(s) that may need refining are correctly identified and realistic alternatives are
Students reflection is minimal. Strengths and/or areas of refinement are not
clearly identified, and/or realistic alternatives are not identified well for trouble
Strengths and/or areas of refinement are not addressed.

III. The student appropriately demonstrates understanding of the relationship between

curriculum, EXPLICIT instruction, and assessment as evidenced by appropriately planned
strategies, engagement principles, and meaningful activities to accomplish the lessons



Student clearly demonstrates knowledge of explicit, strategic instruction. Student

demonstrates how to select appropriate strategies, appropriate text, engagement
principles, and meaningful activities that accomplish the lessons objective.
Students assessment and reflection are documented as evidence.
Student lacks demonstration of understanding of ONE of the following: curriculum,
explicit strategic instruction, or assessment of the lesson by not appropriately
selecting one of the following: strategies, text, engagement principles, or
formative assessment.
Student fails to demonstrate understanding of curriculum, explicit strategic
instruction, or assessment of the lesson by not appropriately selecting more than
one of the following: strategies, text, engagement principles, and/or formative

IV. The student clearly has a sense of where to go next in the lesson, regardless of execution.

The student has a very clear sense of where to go next (tomorrow) in the lesson
based on what happened in the lesson that was taught. (Note: the lesson does not
have to go perfectly!!)
The student has a general idea of where to go next, but this may or may not work.
The student does not have a sense of where to go next in the lesson or does not
address this point.

Total: ____________/15 points