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Union Elementary fifth graders are becoming writers

Jayvis, holds up his letter before mailing it.

Recently, fifth graders in Mr. Jordan Faulk’s class finished a letter writing unit. Students learned about advice letters, letters to the editor, and business letters. They began the unit by immersing themselves with a variety of letters. Students looked at different examples of work to notice similarities and differences in letter writing compared with other types of writing they learned previously this year.

For advice letters, students read excerpts from the advice column in the Highlights magazine. As a class activity they were broken into two groups. The groups took turns asking for and responding with advice. Even some adults could benefit from the students advice!
The fifth graders next focus was letters to the editor. Students took time to read editorial columns from local newspapers. Mr. Faulk quickly realized how opinionated his fifth graders are when they had the chance to practice writing their own letters to the editor. 

Business letters were their final objective. Students had to understand the proper format before they could move forward. Many business letters are written to inform a business of a problem or concern that they have regarding their product or service. The students were also taught how consumers compliment a business. The fifth graders brainstormed which business they each wanted to contact. Quickly students began to narrow down their lists and soon began drafting their letters.

The students wrote to local restaurants, stores, shopping malls, and entertainment venues. Many of the letters were written to compliment a service or product; however, there were several that were written to address issues that these students had with the various places of business. Students worked for two days drafting their letters, then spent time with a peer editor. Mr. Faulk also met with each student to finalize the letters before mailing them to the business of their choice.

A few days later, a letter arrived addressed to one of the students. He opened the letter, while the class waited with great anticipation to hear how Concord Mills responded to his letter. The letter was not just a form letter but instead was personal and specifically addressed several of the student’s questions and comments. It was very nice of Concord Mills to write back; it is encouraging to have support from the business community in education. So far that has been the only response letter the class has received but they are holding out hope.

Fifth graders at Union Elementary are always striving to become better.


Written by: Jordon Faulk, 5th grade teacher
Posted: Feb 10, 2011 by Jennifer Williams

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