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Reading/Writing
Grade: Senior

#4291. Writing an Unsent Letter

Reading/Writing, level: Senior
Posted Tue Dec 9 05:41:11 PST 2008 by Meredith Brier Lee (Meredith Brier Lee).
Old Domininion University, Norfolk, VA
Materials Required: PowerPoint, examples, handout, envelopes, writing utensils, paper, graphic organizer
Activity Time: 1.5 hours
Concepts Taught: The power of voice

To Kill A Mocking Bird: 9th Grade
Lesson Plan Title: Writing an Unsent Letter

Concept / Topic To Teach: Writing a Letter to Illustrate to Students the Power of Voice.
Standards Addressed: SOL 9.6 & 9.7
9.6 The student will develop narrative, expository, and informational writings to inform, explain, analyze, or entertain.
a) Generate, gather, and organize ideas for writing.
b) Plan and organize writing to address a specific audience and purpose.
c) Communicate clearly the purpose of the writing.
d) Write clear, varied sentences.
e) Use specific vocabulary and information.
f) Arrange paragraphs into a logical progression.
g) Revise writing for clarity.
h) Proofread and prepare final product for intended audience and purpose.

9.7 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphing.
General Goal(s): English Language Arts-
The students will be able to use explain the significance and power of voice, and consider audience.
Specific Objectives:
After seeing an example of an unsent letter, the student will be able to write a letter to someone who they feel has treated them unfairly. The students will develop their own voice through the letter. The students will be able to see how powerful their voice is by developing a letter about an injustice.
Required Materials:
• PowerPoint presentation on the format of a business letter
• Examples of unsent letters
• Handout about audience
• Envelopes and stamps for gifted students
• Writing utensils
• Paper
• Graphic organizer for ADD/ADHD students
Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):
• Journal Entry: Tom Robinson experienced racial injustice. Who is someone who you feel has treated you unfairly? Why do you think they did that? Brainstorm a list of instances where you feel you have been treated unjustly.
Step-By-Step Procedures:
1. Students will complete the journal entry and then several will be called upon to share it with the class.
2. The teacher will explain the format of a business letter using a PowerPoint presentation.
3. Students will get into small groups and analyze and evaluate examples of unsent letters.
4. The teacher will explain the importance of keeping the audience in mind when writing the unsent letter.
5. Students will create an unsent letter of their own.
6. Students will finish the letter for homework if they do not finish during class time.
Plan For Independent Practice: Students will create an unsent letter, in the form of a business letter, to someone who they feel has treated them unjustly or unfairly. Keeping the audience in mind, students will tailor the letter their specific audience whether it be store owners, bus drivers, teachers, parents, or anyone else.

Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set):
• Students talk in small groups about whether or not they would actually send their letter to the person who they feel treated the unjustly. Students will develop a pro/con list on an individual basis about whether or not they would send the letter.
Assessment Based On Objectives:
• The letter will be assessed based on completion, understanding of injustice or unfair treatment, focus on audience, format, clarity, usage and mechanics.

Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities):
• ADD or ADHD students will work alone, away from other students, with a peer tutor, or with the teacher to go over the model. The student will then have the task broken down for them in more step by step instructions. First the student will brainstorm a list, and then go over the list with a peer tutor or the teacher. Next the student will freewrite on the event that made them feel like they were treated unfairly, and go over it with a peer tutor or the teacher. Finally, the student will write the letter in a graphic organizer already set up so that they just fill in the blanks instead of creating the form.
Extensions (For Gifted Students):
• Gifted students will be required to write the letter to someone in the community, regardless of whether it is a lawmaker or a business owner. Gifted students will then be required to send that person the letter. Gifted students, more than other students, will therefore have to focus on their audience and maintain a professional demeanor.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
• Creative writing because students are coming up with something on their own and using their own creativity to write the letter; civics because students could write the letter to a lawmaker regarding legislation that they see as unfair to themselves; business classes because students could write a letter to a business owner regarding a time they were unfairly treated at that business.