Project Title: A Little Imagination Can Be Dangerous: A Letter that Says SOOO Little
Software Used: Word, possibly Photoshop elements or some other photo editing program
Subject and Grade Level: I love to do this project with the seniors, but it can be done with any age.
Standards: 12.1.1, 12.2.1, 12.2.2, 12.2.3, 12.2.4
Handouts: Senior Letter Home
Suggestions: I do this as a fun activity after a stressful unit or right before students graduate. The grading is fairly easy because creativity is the key. If I were doing a unit on parts of a letter, I would insist that students have all parts done correctly. The Photoshop would only be needed if you choose to have students include a picture of themselves from the location that they are writing. For example, holding up their prison numbers
Materials needed: paper for printing
Lesson Plans/Directions: I begin the day like I’m going to seriously cover not giving enough information in a writing assignment. I tell students that I will give them a short two page article to read and they must highlight each time they feel there is just a little bit more information that is needed. It’s fun watching how much time some students take to realize it’s a joke. After students have read the article, we discuss why this type of writing is so funny. I finish by handing out the assignment for them to write their own letter. As I said, I grade this fairly easily – the ‘chuckle’ method of earning an A. We usually share some of the letters the following day. I just ask for volunteers to share because some students don’t feel comfortable sharing their writing. It’s always surprising how many of the students share their letters before class. Many times one student will say something like ‘Have Glenn read his because it’s hilarious!’ I even get to laugh at myself when the kids make fun of the way I cook or something.