Fourth grade students at Grant’s Lick Elementary read “Our Parents Are Soldiers” (Scholastic News Edition 4, November 6, 2017). They used the “Write to a Hero” graphic organizer to plan a letter thanking a veteran. This involved reviewing parts of a letter: opening, body, and closing. Letters were mailed to Operation Gratitude. Reflection was embedded throughout the assignment in the form of discussion and Writer’s Notebook entries. Special focus was given to audience awareness and author’s purpose.
After researching and reading about military families in Writing Workshop, students wrote and illustrated holiday letters to active members of the military. This learning activity connected to ongoing on-demand writing practice, attention to audience, and focus on clear, correct, and complete communication. Student samples were also displayed on a bulletin board during a breakfast celebration to honor veterans.