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Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.



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Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

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Lesson Plan

Letters and Learning Genre

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Letters and Learning Genre

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Deborah Dean

Deborah Dean

Provo, Utah


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






Texts Containing Letters and Letter Writing

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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.


Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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  • Prepare for LCD projection of letters or collect paper samples to use in class.

  • Have ready access to the interactive Venn diagram, or make copies of a Venn diagram on paper for students

  • Have access to computers or to paper and pens for the writing portion of the lesson.

  • Preview the Rose O’Neal Greenhow Papers: An On-line Archival Collection from Duke University, which provides letters from a Rose O’Neal Greenhow, a secessionist and spy during the Civil War. The tone of the letters, both from the time period and her role as spy, shows how letters change in response to situation—both time and other contextual factors.

  • Visit the Postal Reform in Early 19th-Century British North America Website, which gives some history of letters and the Canadian postal system, for more information on how letters have changed as a genre.

  • View Writing Business Letters for more information and models of formal business letters.

  • Gather needed books that feature letters and letter writing.

  • Test the Venn Diagram on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

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