Today we looked at letter writing and discussed some of the different reasons people write letters and the types of letters they write. There was some discussion about whether people would in fact write letters rather than send an email, which is a valid point. After accepting the fact that in fact people DO write letters at times we began to look at different types.
We looked at Informal Letters, Business Letters, Letters of Complaint and other Persuasive Letters. We talked about the language used in each type as well as looking at their layouts.
After looking at each of the types, the class decided that the letters they wanted to write to Darius Knight would be a persuasive letter because everyone wanted to persuade Darius to come for a visit, if he could.
I was very impressed with their first drafts and the focus that they had throughout the session. They were ALL happy to either read these first drafts out to the rest of the class themselves or else have me read them aloud. For anyone who has worked with children with poor esteem you will understand what a big thing this is!
To take advantage of the roll they were on we decided to carry on our writing into the second lesson and after making some quick edits and reminders of punctuation (again!) the children started to type up their work.
What quickly became evident was that they all were making further edits to their work as they went along. They were adding and adapting things that others in the class had put in their letters.
Whilst they wrote I had various videos playing on the IWB of interviews with Darius and clips from tournaments. The children started adding little bits from these, as well, into their writing. Some even enquired in their letters about the way he held his racket/bat.
They all thought very carefully about their word choices and what they might say to persuade Darius to maybe come for a visit and if that wasn’t possible then to have him send them his autograph.
I’m pretty sure that it is because Darius is a person that the children can relate to and the fact that they now know quite a lot about him that they are focussed and motivated to write. They can see a purpose to what they are doing.