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Title: Language Arts - Grade 5 - How to Write a Business Letter

Purpose of the Lesson: To learn how to write a business letter (students have written friendly letters in grade 4).

Objectives: Students will recall the 6 parts of a business letter and appropriate spacing.

Lesson Design:
Mental Set/Engage: In cooperative groups of 4-5 students, complete a Place Mat on Business Letters to stimulate prior knowledge (from previous day) and check for understanding.
Explore Stage: On an enlarged "imaginary" piece of paper on the carpet area (made with tape), students will collaboratively discuss and place the 6 parts of a business letter in proper order, and include the appropriate spacing.

1. use levels of language appropriate to their purpose (e.g., informal language to write a letter to a friend and formal language to invite a guest speaker to the school);
2. select and use words to create specific effects (e.g., to create a mood);

Mental Set: In table groups of 4-5 students

Explore Activity: Whole class involvement including teacher at the carpet around the large "imaginary" paper.

Part One: Mental Set/Engage Stage - In small groups, students will complete a 10-minute Place Mat. This should be followed by student-directed input regarding their place mat (mini-presentation of their place mat).
Cooperative Learning through Think-Pair-Share, Popcorn, and Thumbs-Up and Thumbs-Down.
Visual and oral stimulation (reading and saying the parts of the business letter as a group as each student holds a sign stating one of the parts of a business letter).
Teacher facilitation of debatable discussions about the order of the business letter parts (students engaging in cooperative learning from each other, not from the teacher).

Part Two: Explore Stage - 30 minute mini-exploration of the parts of a business letter. Students will gather in a community circle/square around the imaginary large letter at the carpet. Each student will hold a sign stating a part of the business letter or it will say 'space.' Using guided questions, ask students what is the first part of a business letter. Use Think-Pair-Share or Popcorn. Allow students to discuss and defend their opinions of the order of the parts. Ask questions such as, "do you agree? or do you disagree?" Ask for a thumbs-up or down answer.
When the sequence of parts have been placed correctly ask students to orally read out the parts of the letter. This will assist auditory learners (and ESL!) Repeat if necessary.

Place Mat: Assess with a checklist to ensure students have recalled the 6 parts of a business letter (heading, inside address, salutation, body, closing, signature).

Explore Activity: Assess through observations for diagnostic purposes.

For ESL students this lesson allows them to see and hear the vocabulary words specific to a business letter. This allows them to practice saying and seeing the parts in order prior to actually writing one themselves (or with a partner in a future lesson).
This lesson incorporates a lot of visuals for ESL students (e.g. Place Mat, Explore Activity)
It also incorporates oral, auditory and bodily kinesthetic learners.
ESL students can be partnered up with other students who speak the same language.
In a previous lesson, teachers can ask all students to discuss and share their personal experiences with letter writing and receiving. This will allow them to connect this topic with real life and prior experience/knowledge.

Place Mat: chart paper and markers.

Explore Activity: Masking tape and premade signs stating the 6 parts of business letters and others that said 'space' (preferably on atleast 8.5 by 11" paper for better visual and use a dark marker!).
NB: Lots of floor space is needed for this lesson so that each student is standing comfortably around the large paper as in a community circle setting and so they can easily see and read each other's signs.


Submitted by: Pauline Chronakis & Tricia Lee

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