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    The Jolly Postman
    By sj

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    is an excellent book to introduce letter writing--just don't let the kids handle it if you want it to last!
    I did the following earlier this year to intro basic friendly letter format:
    Let's pretend that your mom was at home with your dad one night and she heard a knocking sound. She'd want to know where it was coming from. When someone gets a letter it's just like knocking on their door, so you need to tell them where it is coming from (return address). Then your mom would roll over in bed and look at the clock to see what time it was. If it was a letter your mom would look to see when it was written. Next, your mom hears someone calling to her, "Dear Mom!" Now she would know that whoever is at the door wanted to talk with her, not your dad. A letter always has a greeting to let the reader know who they want to talk to, too. Next, you mom hears the voice say, "It's snowing outside!" Now your mom knows what the person wanted to tell her (the message/body), but she still doesn't know which one of her kids woke her up to tell her that is was snowing, since the kid is still hiding behind her door. The kid calls, "Love," (like saying goodbye just before you close the door--the closing) and then the kid tells her which one of the kids he is, "John". (the signature) After this silly little story, we acted it out with different messages before moving on to writing one together on a chart tablet.

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