Printable copy of this curriculum

This lesson can be taught by itself or as part of a letter writing unit, or used with other subject matter.

The purpose of this lesson, “Letter of Hope,” is that as students write their letters they can  reflect on their own Hopes and Dreams. When everyone has Hopes and Dreams, they can make a difference.

With all that is going on in the world such as the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami, famine, drought, poverty, earthquakes, hopelessness and despair, we can change the world one person at a time for a better tomorrow through our Hopes and Dreams. We all have Hopes and Dreams.

Students will be able to:

  • Identify all the parts of a letter.
  • Hand write a letter using proper spelling and grammar, form, and sentence structure by using the following steps of pre-writing, writing, revising, and editing.
  • Gain a better understanding and appreciation of writing a letter by hand.
  • Reflect on their writing.

Paper, pen or pencil, overhead (if needed) for examples and the hopes and dreams of each individual.

Start out with having a class discussion about hand written letters, and how this art is becoming extinct. Questions you can ask your students with possible answers:

Q:  What are the most common forms of communication used today?
A:  Home phones, cell phones, text messaging, e-mail and IM (instant messaging)

Q:  What are the drawbacks of writing a letter by hand?
A:  It takes more time to do and does not get an immediate response compared to other types of communication.

Q:  What do you think is being lost by the use of e-mail and other forms of rapid communication?
A:  The personal connection of actually reading someone else’s handwriting.

Q:  How are stationery and greeting card companies trying to stay relevant in today’s world of technology?
A:  By using the internet to promote their products such as e-cards and software for customers to print and make their own cards from home.

Q:  What are the benefits of writing using a computer?
A:  You can read the letters clearly, they are faster than hand writing and can be sent immediately by e-mail.

Q:  What are the benefits of writing a hand-written letter?
A:  Hand-written letters give people that personal connection to the person they are writing to by taking the time to sit down and sharing information and/or expressing their thoughts and feelings on paper.

Review the parts of a letter such as the: (Can use the overhead to show an example if needed).

  • Heading —  address of where the letter is going
  • Greeting — ex. Dear …
  • Body – main text of letter
  • Signature line
    Explain to the class that the letter they are about to write is a little bit different in that the heading is addressed to “Letter of Hope,” but they will not necessarily be writing the letter to an actual person.  Students may address anyone they like in the salutation.  This letter, along with thousands of others from across the nation will travel from state to state and then be sent up into space by NASA.

Students will then be asked to brain storm and make a list of their own hopes and dreams for themselves and/or others. It can be something simple or complex.

Think about what you will write about.

  • Do you wish someone well?
  • Do you want to be a ________ some day? (doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc).
  • Share your thoughts and feelings about something on your paper.
  • Ex. Finding homes for all Katrina victims.  I hope that all the families that lost their homes from Hurricane Katrina will have new ones built for them.

Once they find a topic or topics to write about, the next step would be to write a rough draft of their letter.

  • Revise your letter.
  • Edit your letter.
  • Write final copy.

Address envelope to “Letter of Hope.”
DO NOT put a return address on envelope or it may be returned to you.
There are 305,000 letter carriers around the country that have taken on the
responsibility of getting all letters to their destination.

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