Skip to contentContribute to ReadWriteThink / RSS / FAQs / Site Demonstrations / Contact Us / About Us

 

 

What’s Happening This Week

What’s Happening This Week

There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.

More

 

Reading & Language Arts Community

Book Recommendations

Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

 

 

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers

Text Messages: Recommendations for Adolescent Readers

 

HomeClassroom ResourcesCalendar Activities

July 07

Write letters that make things happen!

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

 

Write letters that make things happen!

Grades 1 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event

 

EVENT DESCRIPTION

 

 

On July 7, 1983, Samantha Smith, a U.S. schoolgirl, flew to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Premier Yuri Andropov, all because of a letter that she wrote. Smith wrote a letter to Andropov asking, "Why do you want to conquer the whole world, or at least our country?" The Soviet leader replied to her letter, and Samantha ultimately visited the nation, becoming a good-will ambassador.

 

CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

 

 

Have your students write their own letters that make things happen. Students can write individual letters, or work in small groups or as a full group. Letter writing can be a culminating project after you've completed a unit of study on a particular topic. For instance, if you've just completed a unit on animals, students might write letters to the local zoo, praising them for the ways that they care for animals or making suggestions for changes. After exploring freedom of speech in a censorship unit, students might write letters to the editor of the local newspaper explaining their feelings about specific books that are (or aren't) included in the library.

In addition to the resources available in the Letter Generator and on the Letter Generator page, there are resources available from Gallaudet University that demonstrate how to write advocacy letters. The American Civil Liberties Union provides tips on writing letters to the editor and letters to elected officials, which can be useful for projects where students are looking at issues of civil rights, freedom of speech, and student rights.

 

WEBSITES

 

 
  • SamanthaSmith.info

    This site includes information about Samantha Smith, her famous letter to Andropov, her subsequent work as a goodwill ambassador, and the continuing work of the foundation devoted to her memory.

     

  • PBS Kids: Arthur: Letter Writer Helper

    Students can find tips from Arthur on letter and e-mail writing, which can serve as a resource for independent letter writing.

     

  • American Civil Liberties Union: Stand Up!

    The American Civil Liberties Union provides resources for youth on topics such as censorship and discrimination. The site features news, podcasts, issues, and rants-written opinions from youth around the country on a number of issues.

     

  • Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

    View the Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting site for resources that help identify and respond to inaccurate or unfair news coverage.

RELATED RESOURCES

back to top

 

Letter Generator

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Letter Generator

The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters for both styles of correspondence.