Teaching Letter Writing: Writing to an Author

Letter writing can be fun and is an essential writing skill. Writing emails and text messages may be popular, but everyone has to write a letter at some point. There are friendly letters, complaint letters, job application or cover letters and thank you letters to mention just a few. I think it is important to share these real-life writing connections with children. As teachers we know that learning to write letters will help to improve a child’s communication, social, organizing and writing skills. 

Locating the Author

You can find a great deal of information about picture book authors from their books, website or the Internet. You may not find their home address, but you can reach most authors through their publisher. For an author to receive a letter from their readers is a very special treat. Authors love to hear from children who have read their book. Some authors will even write back if you include the school address. 

What to write in the letter?

What should children include in their letter? Authors love to hear why children enjoyed their book and what part they liked the most. Authors love to answer questions about the book, the characters and the ending of the story. Letters should be personal and the child might want to share something about themselves such as the grade they are in, how they found the book and if they have read other books by the author. 

Picture Book Recommendations for Letter Writing

I have some book recommendations that will help you teach your students about letter writing. You may even have these suggestions in your classroom or school library. I have included the links if you want to learn more about the books and their authors.

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Croninhttps://www.amazon.com/Click-Clack-Cows-That-Type/dp/0689832133/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1HLPV15RMV12Z&dchild=1&keywords=click+clack+moo+cows+that+type&qid=1633015307&sprefix=Click+Clack+%2Caps%2C173&sr=8-1

The Jolly Postman or Other Peoples Letters by Alan Ahlberghttps://www.amazon.com/Jolly-Postman-Allan-Ahlberg/dp/0316126446/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2ZGHLIN12CWQ0&dchild=1&keywords=jolly+postman&qid=1633015413&sprefix=Jolly+post%2Caps%2C243&sr=8-1

Yours truly, Goldilocks by Alma Flor Ada https://www.amazon.com/Yours-Truly-Goldilocks-Alma-Flor/dp/0689844522/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3FPVYMPD0MIHU&dchild=1&keywords=yours+truly+goldilocks&qid=1633015476&sprefix=YOurs+truly+gold%2Caps%2C143&sr=8-1

Happy Letter Writing!

Your challenge is to discuss one of the authors that you are teaching with your students and ask what questions they might have for that author. It might just lead to a letter-writing lesson!

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