Letter writing to family and friends is a good second-grade lesson. In this case, a friendly letter from each child written to a grandparent can help form a single topic (schools of yesterday) for a shared research project. The free printable is in our free Amember area (free to join, select only the free option to sign-up). Log in at this link. On your individual user dashboard, select Family Free Writing.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
When I was teaching on a second-grade team, we had a one-day class field study trip to the Cahill School in Edina, Minnesota. Part of the unit was to write letters to grandparents and ask about what schools were like when they were young. We sent the letters from school to the grandparents. Of course, children had to share addresses with the teacher. Then, answers were sent back to the classroom. It was so exciting when a letter would arrive and the child could share it with the whole class. It was also a valuable learning experience We not only learned about how schools used to be but the power of snail-mail letter writing. And children looked forward to letters and the class trip. I wrote about the Cahill school field trip previously.
Anyway, what prompted this free download idea what the fact some children did not have relatives to write to for this project. Grandparents have maybe passed away or are incapacitated, which made some students very sad. I encouraged my husband to write his book, Ales Asks Grandpa About the Olden Days: A 1940’s Story. It gives information about life in the 1940s and is written in a “grandpa voice” so that children can learn what life was like at that time. The blog post about the book is here, and it is available on Amazon here. The Lexile Level is 700L.
The printable does not require the use of the book. Other books or family stories could save the same purpose to motivate writing a friendly letter. There are two parts with letter writing frames and also a word-wall included in the PDF.
The letter writing PDF includes a word wall with family and words for writing letters.
The letter writing PDF includes different writing frames to accommodate K-2 students.
Sample page of the individual family and letter-writing word wall which may be added to a writing binder.
Sample of a letter-writing frame page. Different line heights are included to accommodate students in K-2.
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Children may create their own booklets for Mom, Dad, and other family members with the free instant download PDF. Grandma, aunt, mommy, mother, Grandpa, uncle, father, and daddy are some of the other pages.
A Mother understands . . . what? My daughter thought it meant I could understand her facial expression and mood. Hopefully, parents everywhere can understand that, but sometimes we might not be paying attention. The children will have their own ideas.
A Father is someone who . . .
Children may finish the sentence stem with ideas of their own. What will they write? This could be interesting.
A Father waits patiently when . . .
When does Dad have to wait? What is the child or someone else doing? This is another stem that might give some fun answers.
A Mom: What is an Adoptive Mother? by Betsy and Carolyn Wilhelm, illustrated by Pieter Els