Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Dear Santa Claus
DescriptionSanta answers letters. Students write letters to Santa Claus to find answers to their questions. Students then become Santa Claus answering the questions in a response letter.
ObjectivesThe student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, journals to reflect upon ideas, reports to describe scientific observations).
The student uses electronic technology to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias).
Materials1. Paper and pencil for each student.
2. Rubrics(see attached files).
3. Video or CD, [Santa Claus Is Coming to Town]
Preparations1. Obtain writing materials, paper and pencil.
2. Obtain the video [Santa Claus Is Coming to Town]
3. Make sufficient copies of both rubrics to use to assess each students letters.
Procedures1. Obtain writing materials, paper and pencils.
2. Prepare to show the video, [Santa Claus Is Coming to Town].
3. Review letter writing format for a friendly letter.
4. Write a sample friendly letter on the board showing the five parts of the letter, heading, greeting, body, closing and signature.
5. Review four sentence types, declarative, interrogative, exclamatory and imperative and correct punctuation for each type sentence.
6. Show approximately ten minutes of the [Santa Claus Is Coming to Town] video.
7. Explain to students that they are will now be writing two letters, one to Santa Claus and one as Santa Claus.
8. Ask students to think about all of the questions they would like to ask Santa Claus.
9. Give examples of what these questions might be. For example: Does Mrs. Claus help you make toys? Why is your suit red and white and not red and green? How many elves do you have? How fast does your sleigh go?
10. Brainstorm with the students areas from which questions could be asked. For example, reindeer, elves, toys, Mrs. Claus, and Rudolph.
11. Remind the students that their letter to Santa Claus must contain ten interrogative sentences.
12. Allow students approximately fifteen to twenty minutes to write their letters to Santa Claus.
13. Collect all of the Santa letters and mix them up.
14. Distribute a letter to each student to prepare an answer to the letter.
15. Ask students to imagine that they are Santa when preparing their response to the letter they were given.
16. Remind the students that their response letter must contain five declarative, on exclamatory and one imperative sentence.
17. Remind students to use the correct letter format for their letter.
18. Allow approximately fifteen to twenty minutes for the students to complete their letters.
19. Review the use of a word proccesing program and adding a graphic to the document.
20. After the letters are completed, allow the students to type both letters on the computer using a word processing program.
21. When letters are completed on the computer, have students share their letters. One student should read his/her letter with questions for Santa, and the student who answered the letter should read their response.
22. Collect students typed letters for assessment using the two rubrics (see attached file).
AssessmentsUsing two rubrics assess the students ability to write friendly letters. The first rubric measures the five parts of a friendly letter, heading, greeting, body, closing and signature. Ten interrogative sentences must be used in the letter. Sentences must be punctuated correctly.
The second rubric measures the students abilty to write friendly letters responding to the first letter to Santa. The rubric measures the five parts of a friendly letter, heading, greeting, body, closing and signature. Five declarative, one exclamatory and one imperative sentence must be used in the letter. Sentences must be punctutated correctly.
ExtensionsThis lesson could be extended to other holidays. For example, letters could be written to the President on President's Day.
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