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Your students can save their work with Student Interactives.

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Lesson Plan

Note Writing in the Primary Classroom

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Note Writing in the Primary Classroom

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Introduction: 30 minutes; thereafter: 15-30 minutes per session
Lesson Author

Jenifer Katahira

Seattle, Washington


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Picture books that feature notes or note writing:

    • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, 1996)

    • Maggie and the Pirate by Ezra Jack Keats (Four Winds Press, 1979)

    • Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells (Dial Books, 1997)
  • Writing materials (memo pads, sticky notes, stationery, clip boards, variety of pens, colored pencils, crayons, markers)

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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.


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Letter to Parents explaining the project. Note: If you modify the project to include a hundreds chart, you might customize the letter to include an explanation of this additional goal.

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  • Decide on the number of activities from this lesson and the order that you want to complete them in. This lesson includes a range of ways that you can explore note writing in your classroom and can be arranged so that they suit your situation and your students. The project usually works best when started with either the Think-aloud Introduction or the Reading Connection section.

  • Locate examples of authentic notes-memos, reminders, and notes to family members, colleagues, or yourself. Look for everyday notes to remind, plan, request, persuade, compliment, or solve problems as well as short correspondence for inquiring, greeting, sending thanks or condolences. Survey your desk, calendar, planning book, and book bag to locate examples of your own personal notes or memos. Leaving these in place as you show them will add to their authenticity.

  • Gather picture books on notes or note writing.

  • Provide eye-level environmental print to support beginning writers: alphabet charts, class lists of names, familiar poems and songs, high frequency words, and so forth.

  • Assemble writing materials.

  • Prepare a copy of the Letter to Parents for each student.

  • Check your district and school's guidelines for any restrictions on note writing that you'll need to take into account as you choose activities for the project. Some schools have restrictions on the content of messages; others may have rules in place that ban note writing altogether. In the best scenario, you wouldn't need to draw students' attention to a guideline regarding "Inappropriate Student Note Writing" (e.g., "Note writing which contains sex, drugs, violence, or gang graffiti, symbols or writing is prohibited during the school day and related school activities." However, it's better to know of any guidelines that exist before you begin the project.

  • Test the Letter Generator student interactive and Berenstain Bears' Pack a Picnic Interactive on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tools 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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