Amber gaskins and kristin rozar eced 4300 c dr tonja root fall 2009 5 th grade pen pal letters
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Amber Gaskins and Kristin Rozar ECED 4300 C Dr. Tonja Root Fall 2009 5 th Grade Pen Pal Letters. Kristin Rozar ECED 4300 C Dr. Tonja Root Fall 2009. 5 th Grade Pen Pal Letter Prewriting Stage.

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Kristin Rozar ECED 4300 C Dr. Tonja Root Fall 2009

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Amber Gaskins and Kristin RozarECED 4300 CDr. Tonja RootFall 20095th GradePen Pal Letters

Kristin RozarECED 4300 CDr. Tonja RootFall 2009

5th Grade

Pen Pal Letter

Prewriting Stage

GPSELA5W2: The student demonstrates competence in a variety of genres. The student produces informational writing that: c. creates an organizing structure appropriate to a specific purpose, audience, and context.PLOStudents will complete a Pen Pal graphic organizer.

Form of Writing:Pen Pal Letters

  • Not as formal as other letters.

  • Usually hand written and sent in the mail.

  • The writer:

    - shares information about his/her life,

    such as interests, age, family, etc.

    • asks questions to learn more about the person receiving the letter.

Stage of Writing: Prewriting

  • First stage of the Writing Process

  • Most important!

  • Writer establishes the genre, audience, and topic.

  • Writer must brainstorm and gather the information needed

  • Graphic organizers

    -great tool to use when brainstorming

    -helps organize the information found about the topic.

    -all ideas should be written in short phrases and single words, not complete sentences.

Graphic Organizer: Pen Pal Letters

Pen Pal Letter Example

January 31, 2006

Dear Pen Pal,

My name is Teresa and I live in Mt. Shasta, California. I am a girl and I am twelve years old. I live in a house with my mother and two sisters, ages 6 and 2.

I go to Sisson Elementary School and I am in 7th grade. My favorite part about school is our reading. I love to read especially books about horses. I like to play sports like soccer and tennis. When I grow up I want to be a teacher.

What is it like in your town? What do you do for fun? Please tell me about yourself. Do you have access to e-mail?

I hope to hear from you soon.


Teresa B. Happy

APA Citations

  • (2007). Pen Pal Letter Organizer. Retrieved October 22, 2009, from Dr. Root’s Web site:

  • Project #1: Make a connection:Write a letter to a new pen-pal in Uganda: Short Sample Letter. Retrieved October 22, 2009, from Global Education Project Web site:

How this model can be used

  • This model can be used when teaching elementary age students to write pen pal letters of their own.

  • It gives them ideas on what to write about and how to organize their letter.

Practice Activity

  • We will be writing a pen pal letter to a little girl in Switzerland named Emile.

  • Before we can write our class letter, we need to decide what information we are going to put in it.

  • We will be using a graphic organizer to decide what information should go in our pen pal letter.

  • Make sure to raise your hand if you have an idea. Please do not yell out or talk while someone else is sharing their ideas.

Assessment Activity

  • Students will complete a graphic organizer, like the one completed as a class, individually.

  • Remember to only use short phrases and single words, no complete sentences.

  • The information on the graphic organizer should be an outline of what they want to include in their pen pal letter.

Amber Gaskins

ECED 4300 C

Dr. Tonja Root

Fall 2009

5th grade

Pen Pal Letter

Drafting Stage


ELA5W1 The student produces writing that establishes an appropriate organizational structure, sets a context and engages the reader, maintains a coherent focus throughout, and signals a satisfying closure. The student:

b. Writes text of a length appropriate to address the topic or tell the story.


The students will complete a draft of a pen pal letter using their prewriting graphic organizer.

Form of Writing: Pen Pal Letters

  • Most pen pal letters are handwritten and sent through the mail

  • Used to share information with someone

  • Write about interests, hobbies, family, etc

  • Usually asks questions to find out about the recipient

Stage of Writing: Drafting

  • Second stage of the writing process

  • Uses graphic organizer as a guide to complete sentences and ideas

  • Mechanics are not important during this stage

  • Label “sloppy copy” or “rough draft”

Pen Pal’s Address


Greeting and name



Body of letter


Closing and signature


Drafting Graphic Organizer

APA Citation:Example and Graphic Organizer

  • Harambee. Retrieved October 25, 2009. Kambi Primary School Website.

  • (2009). Pen Pal Letter Organizer. Retrieved October 21, 2009. Dr. Root’s Website,














Practice Activity

  • We will use our graphic organizer from the prewriting stage to complete a pen pal draft.

  • Discuss with students the parts of a pen pal letter. (Ex. Address, greeting, body, closing and signature)

  • Have a drafting organizer displayed on the board or Smart Board.

  • Allow students to help you develop the letter.

Assessment Activity

  • Have students choose a pen pal to write their letter to. This can be a friend, cousin, etc.

  • Each student will develop their own pen pal drafting graphic organizer using the information they used during prewriting.

  • Mechanics will be stressed as having little importance during this process.

  • Students should only focus on getting their content down.

  • Follow the given example and the practice activity we created as a group.

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