I use letters in every class in a variety of ways. High school and middle school students can write letters to their teachers, introducing themselves. Upper elementary students can write a formal letter to a favorite author, and primary students can write friendly informal letters about the weather.
Writing to learn grammar is the most effective way to teach grammar. Letter writing is a skill that students of any age can apply in order to strengthen their skills. Friendly letters are relevant and engaging for primary students through fifth grade. Friendly letters have a heading, greeting, body, closing and signature. A fun grammar exercise is to prepare each part of the letter and have students act it out, describing its role.
Step 1: Prepare the five parts of the letter and hand each part to a student or group of students.
Step 2: Call for each part to describe its role in a letter. For instance:
Heading: “I am the heading and I tell my address with my street number, city and state, and the full date.”
Greeting: “I am the greeting and I say Dear and say someone’s name.”
Body: “I am the body and I tell about the weather (or other appropriate content).”
Closing: “I am the closing and I say things like ‘Your Friend’, or ‘Sincerely’.”
Signature: “I am the signature and I say my name. I am the last part of a letter.”
To scaffold, the heading and body could be split into multiple parts with each line given to a different student. To add movement, students could stand in order of appearance and step forward to speak.