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    business letter writing
    By Carolyn B.

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    My fifth grade students learned to write business letters this past week. I used the "World of Language" textbook to teach the proper format. They identified the parts, as taught by the textbook. We did the exercises on that first day.

    The second day, I brought in a catalog which I received in the mail from Dell Computers. The catalog was filled with various electronic products, including digital cameras, computer games, PC's, etc. I gave the students a sheet which had lines on it where they were to write the parts of the letter as they composed it. I felt that this helped them remember to write the heading and inside address, particularly. I told them that they were to write a pretend letter to Dell Computers, asking that they contact them about technical support for problems they were having with a product they bought. They were to identify the product number, which they could find on the catalog page. (I photocopied several pages out of the book and passed them out to each group to use.) The kids enjoyed this activity.

    Once we finished this project, I told them that they could pick ANY business of their choice. We reviewed correct letter writing format, then I let them write their letter. They could write a letter of complaint (I had to emphasize politeness), or a letter of compliments for a product of service that they used. Students chose stores, like Bath & Body Works, Hershey Foods, or Wal-Mart. I did this last year, too, and the kids loved receiving a real letter reply back from the companies. Some sent coupons and/or product samples.

    I hope your kids enjoy this experience.

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