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Lesson Plans
First Day, Last Day Friendly Letter
1st–2nd Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will identify the parts of a letter.
  • Students will write a friendly letter.
Materials Materials Needed
  • The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Letter template
  • Chart paper and marker
Preparation: Using the template below, write a letter to yourself on chart paper. Sign your name at the bottom and fold the piece of chart paper in thirds.

August ____, _________

Dear ___________________________,

I am so excited about teaching _____ grade this year. The students in my class are great! I can’t wait to teach them ______________________________________________________. It is going to be a fantastic year!




Read aloud The Jolly Postman. Be sure to read all the hidden letters in the book.

Ask students if they have ever written a letter. Who did they write to? What was the occasion? (Was it a thank-you note, an invitation or a friendly letter to a distant relative?)



  1. Tell students that you have written a letter.  Explain that instead of writing a letter to another person, you have written a letter to yourself. Take out the letter you wrote on chart paper and unfold it. Read the letter aloud to your students.
  2. Explain that this is called a friendly letter. Ask students to read along with you as you slowly read it aloud again.
  3. Identify each part of the letter as you point to it: the date, greeting, body, closing and signature. Invite students to point to a part of the letter and tell you what it is called.
  4. Tell students that they are going to write letters to themselves. Their letters will express how they feel about the beginning of the school year and what they are looking forward to learning.
  5. Draw two columns on a piece of chart paper. Title one column “What We’ve Learned So Far” and title the other column “What We Want to Learn.” Brainstorm with students and write their responses in the appropriate columns.
  6. Provide each student with a copy of the letter template. Ask students to follow along with their fingers as you read the words aloud.
  7. Instruct students to fill in the blanks to complete their letters. Invite them to use the ideas on the chart paper or their own ideas.



Invite a few student volunteers to share their completed letters with the class. (For younger students, invite the whole class to read along until you come to a blank. Have the volunteer supply the word she chose.)

Give each student an envelope. Have students place their letter in the envelope and write their name on the outside. Tell students that you will keep the letters and return them at the end of the school year. Then the students can compare what they thought the year would be like to their actual experiences.

At the end of the year, distribute each letter to its author. (For even more fun, mail the letters to the school. The children will love having their own letters delivered by mail!) Invite students to read their letters. Do they think they are better writers now than they were at the beginning of the year?

View the 1st–2nd grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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