Writing letters TIPS
The topic “writing letters” is taken in German lessons
It’s a great way to activate students’ prior knowledge. Many ask themselves if it is not a long outdated tradition to write the letter with difficulty, to pack it up and take it to the post office. Do you still have to write letters in the age of Mails, Chats, SMS and WhatsApp? The answer is short: Yes, you have to and should!
The numbers show that people are still writing: Approximately one billion (!) Letters are being sent every day, and in Germany alone, 1.1 billion e-mails are sent daily. (Source: Universal Postal Union)
Especially in a time when even Christmas greetings and holiday greetings with always the same standard texts, which you could already say by heart depending on the sender, become increasingly rare or absent. But you have animated “e-postcards” in the e-mail inbox, which looks at you and usually deletes. But everyone loves to go to the mailbox and get personal mail. The school must make the culture, which has shaped humanity massive, accessible to the students, rediscovering and preserving them.
A letter is something special, the author gives a lot of price, chooses words wisely, makes an effort in writing. He looks at the content and the style of the formulation. When you write, you take your time thinking about the others, time to formulate your messages. Letters are something special, you can later write something on the edge or paint, can attach photos or pictures. Surely you can also insert things in a mail, attach photos and even select the stationery. However, the paper, the walk to the mailbox and the feeling of having received a letter that many no longer know are missing. This feeling can be reproduced to pupils, letters become an experience.
The writing unit “Letters” can be started at any time. Depending on the level of achievement of the learners and the type of school, it is possible to plan for 10-14 hours. It is a good idea to start the unit before Christmas or Easter, because the children can write their first letter to the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Even if they no longer believe in these, they receive from the post office of the rabbit “Hanni Hase” in Ostereistedt or Santa Claus in Himmelsthür answer, the envelope is decorated with a special stamp and a special cancellation. Approximately Ten days after sending the letter, the children find an answer in their mailbox, the joy is great, as it is often the first letter of their lives.
The first step of the lesson is to activate the prior knowledge. After a brainstorming on the subject of letters, the next step is to distinguish personal from factual letters that teach children how a letter must be formally structured. On the basis of concrete topics, writing plans are created and letters are written on various topics. The students correct these with the help of proof sheets, which can be found in the right margin column as pdf and Word document.
The worksheets and the course of the lesson can be downloaded as a pdf file.
The links below offer teachers various materials for a lesson on letter writing.
In the school year 2013/2014 a project was carried out as a completion of the module “letter writing”, which is a long-term project.The teacher was looking for a school that was interested in a “pen pal class”. Care should be taken to ensure that there are the same number of students in the class so that each learner has a pen pal.