Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Would You Please?
Santa Rosa District Schools
Students realize the importance of word choice by writing a persuasive letter to two different people: one is a friend, and one is the principal.
The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, journals to reflect upon ideas, reports to describe scientific observations).
The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, letters to persuade or request, humorous or suspenseful stories to entertain, instructions to inform).
The student varies language according to situation, audience, and purpose (for example, appropriate tone, content, vocabulary).
The student varies language according to situation, audience, and purpose (for example, uses appropriate content, examples, vocabulary).
-Paper & pencil
-Textbook that shows format for friendly & business letters
Locate an example of a friendly letter and a business letter - found in most English textbooks.
1. Ask students if there's anything they'd like changed in their school. Brainstorm and write ideas on the board.
2. Students open text to page with sample of friendly letter and go over the parts.
3. Students write a friendly letter to a friend to get the friend to support them in their ideas of what should be changed about the school.
4. Collect letters.
1. Pass out friendly letters and let students share if time allows.
2. Open text to pattern for business letters and go over with the students.
3. Explain that they are going to write another letter trying to persuade someone to agree with what they want changed in the school, but this time they are trying to persuade the principal!
4. Discuss how this letter will be different. Discuss the differences in format between a friendly letter and a business letter, then discuss how the language will be different when writing to the principal than when writing to a friend. Discuss formality and when and why it is used.
5. Students write their business letters to the principal, trying to persuade him/her to make the changes in the school that they want.
6. Students turn in their business letters.
1. Pair students and let them read each other's friendly letters and business letters. Have them take note of differences.
2. Have a class discussion of how language formality varies according to the situation and audience. Discuss other times when this is the case.
This formative assessment is done by comparing the student's two letters to observe the formality of the language. Participation in the class discussion of the findings after reading the partner's letters will also demonstrate awareness of how language changes with the situation and the audience.