Draw and Write Together: Dear Friends

  • chart paper
  • marker

MA Standards:

English Language Arts/Foundational Skills/RF.PK.MA.1: With guidance and support, demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of printed and written text: books, words, letters, and the alphabet.
English Language Arts/Writing/W.PK.MA.1: Dictate words to express a preference or opinion about a topic (e.g., “ I would like to go to the fire station to see the truck and meet the firemen.”)

Head Start Outcomes:

Language Development/Expressive Language: Uses language to express ideas and needs.
Literacy Knowledge/Print Concepts and Conventions: Understands conventions, such as print moves from left to right and top to bottom of a page.
Literacy Knowledge/Early Writing: Recognizes that writing is a way of communicating for a variety of purposes, such as giving information, sharing stories, or giving an opinion.
Literacy Knowledge/Early Writing: Uses scribbles, shapes, pictures, and letters to represent objects, stories, experiences, or ideas.

PreK Learning Guidelines:

English Language Arts/Composition 16: Use their own words or illustrations to describe their experiences, tell imaginative stories, or communicate information about a topic of interest.

Draw and Write Together: Dear Friends

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

ELA Focus Skills: Concepts of Print (Directionality, Print Conveys Meaning)

Educator Prep: On chart paper set up the letter form below as you would write a letter (leave body text area blank so you can write as children dictate).

Today we read the folktale The Little Red Hen. I liked when _______________.

Tell children that you are going to write a letter with them telling a family member something you liked about the story The Little Red Hen.

  • Tell children that a letter begins with a word or words that greet the reader. Say, A greeting, such as “Dear ___,” is a way of welcoming the person you are writing to.
  • Display the letter form you have prepared on chart paper. Explain that each child will tell one thing they liked about the story and you will write it on the letter.
  • Ask children to each dictate one thing they liked about the story. You may need to review parts of the story to help children recall ideas, such as the steps in planting the wheat and the importance of helping others.
  • As you write, help children understand directionality in print. Say, I’ll start writing here. Now I’ve come to the edge of the paper. I need to go back to the other side (point to left side) to keep writing.

When children finish dictating the message, point to and read the closing word and say, At the end of a letter we write a closing word that tells the reader it is the end of your letter.

Explain to children that you are going to make a copy of the letter for each child. Then they will dictate or write the name of the person they want the letter to go to and write that person’s name on the greeting line. (point to the blank line) Then they will write their name on the bottom. (point to the signature line at the bottom)

Social Emotional Tip: Invite children to write their own letters to someone who has helped them. Help them “write” their letter as they dictate what they would like to say to the person who helped them. Ask them how the person helped or helps them and why they appreciate it.

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