Beacon Lesson Plan Library

To Whom It May Concern! – Writing for a Variety of Audiences

Teri Morgan

Description

To Whom It May Concern! – Writing for a Variety of Audiences is a lesson that gives students the opportunity to practice writing to a variety of audiences. Students will write friendly letters concerning the same subject to two contrasting readers or audiences.

Objectives

The student writes for a variety of occasions, audiences, and purposes (for example, journals to reflect upon ideas, reports to describe scientific observations).

Materials

- Writing paper
- Pencils
- Scrap paper
- Copies of the writing rubric – To Whom It May Concern! – Writing for a Variety of Audiences Rubric ( See Associated File.)

Preparations

1. Make a transparency of the teacher rubric. To Whom It May Concern – Writing
for a Variety of Audiences ( See Associated File.)
2. Make copies of To Whom It May Concern! – Writing for a Variety of Audiences
Rubric] for each student.
3. Have scrap paper ready for the purpose of student planning.
4. Have stationary or writing paper ready for student use.



Procedures

This lesson is a three day lesson that should be utilized only after students have been previously introduced to the trait of “voice” in writing as well as mastered the required parts of a “friendly letter”.

Day 1

1. Introduce the lesson by “role playing” greeting a variety of people. To one child say “What’s up?” as if you are talking to your best friend. Follow that greeting with by giving that child a “high five”. Greet another student by saying, “How are you doing today, Mr.___________?” (Insert the principal’s name of your school.) Next, greet a student as if he was the teacher. Greet yet another student as if you are saying good morning to a sibling or parent.

2. Ask students to describe to the class differences in the way each was spoken to.

3. Explain to students the value of using different styles or personalities when speaking to a variety of people is directly related to the value of using different styles or personalities when writing to a variety of people or “audiences”.

4. Ask students to imagine they are going to visit the US President today. Have students brainstorm greetings that would be appropriate. Contrast those greetings with casual words or phrases that would never be spoken to “the President”.

5. Review with students what “voice” does for a writer. Remind students that voice is selecting words and phrases that show honest caring personality in writing that interacts with the reader or audience.

6. Tell students that in this lesson they will write a friendly letter to a variety of audiences by writing one letter to their principal and one to their classmate to express their position on school uniforms possibly being required at their school during the upcoming school year. Let them know they will only write one of the letters today.

7. Tell students that their letters need word choices and phrases that will interact best with the person, or audience, the letter is being written to.

8. Explain to students that each will read both letters to the class omitting the greeting. Their classmates will have to decide which “audience” each letter was intended for. If students can guess who your letter was written to by the word choice and phrases in your writing, then they have successfully used the writing trait of voice to write to a variety of audiences.

9. Tell students that a teacher rubric To Whom It May Concern – Writing for a Variety of Purposes Rubric will be filled out to let them know how well they used the trait of voice in their writing to a variety of audiences. Show and explain the rubric transparency to the class.

10. Ask students to tell the 5 parts of a friendly letter that should be included in their writing. Write the 5 parts of a friendly letter on the board to serve as a review of what a friendly letter should include.

11. Allow students time to ponder the idea of their school requiring school uniforms.

12. Students plan on scrap paper their opinion about school uniforms and elaboration they may want to share with both readers.

13. Students write a friendly letter to their principal sharing their opinion and suggestions concerning required school uniforms.


Day 2

1. Review concepts from day 1. See #3, 4, 5.

2. Have students write a friendly letter to a classmate sharing their opinion and suggestions concerning required school uniforms.


Day 3

1. Each student reads both letters to the class omitting the greeting. Classmates will decide which letter went to the classmate or the principal.

2. As the student reads aloud, fill out the teacher rubric. To Whom It May Concern! – Writing for a Variety of Audiences Rubric

3. Share the rubric with the student. Allow time for comments to be shared between the teacher and the student.

Assessments

This lesson assesses only a portion of the standard addressed. This assessment is a “formative” assessment and is not intended to judge mastery.
Students write a friendly letter to a variety of audiences by writing one letter to their principal and one to their classmate to express their position on school uniforms possibly being required at their school during the upcoming school year.
Student writing uses word choice and phrases in order to match the voice of their letter with the audience the letter is written to.
Student reads both letters to the class omitting the greeting. Classmates will provide feedback to the writer by correctly, or incorrectly, deciding for which “audience” each letter was intended. [To Whom It May Concern! - Writing for a Variety of Audiences Rubric] is used to assess word choice and phrases used to match voice to a variety of audiences.

Extensions

1. Students may write their letters for a different purpose. (The teacher chooses an alternate prompt.)
2. Students may write stories, journal entries, etc. to two different audiences.
3. Students may audiotape their letters to each reader, allowing students to “hear” their voice and to decide if their word choice is appropriate for the particular reader or audience.

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