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  Letter writing - formal
Updated 06 April 2005, 15.59
Christopher Chambers with TV presenter Tess Daly
Learning aims
  • Simplify texts to suit a younger audience.

  • Write a formal letter to someone they don't know personally.

Introduction
Read through with the class the story 'Boy's letter to Becks wins award'.

Ask the class if they've ever written to a famous person.

Below is a model example of a formal letter written by someone who doesn't know the celebrity personally:

Percival School
Percival
PC12 7TS
10 March 2003

Dear Mr Beckham,

I am writing to you on behalf of my class, 6A, to ask if you would be prepared to visit us this summer.

We would really like you to come, because we have seen many of your matches on TV and think you are a fabulous player.

There are also lots of questions we'd like to ask you, such as why you became a footballer and how you keep yourself fit.

I hope you can visit us. If so, please let me know when you are available, and details of your fees. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Peters

Main activity
Students choose a famous person to write to and prepare a letter in a formal style.

It is a good idea to write out a first draft, to change and improve it, to proofread it and then to write out a neat, correct and clear final copy.

Extension activity
Can the class adapt their letters into an informal style?

Ask them to imagine they are writing to a friend instead of a celebrity.

When they do, do they write differently?

Is their handwriting faster and less neat?

Is it okay to do this?

Plenary
Volunteers read aloud their letters and the class check to see if they follow the rules.

Teachers' Background
When you write a letter:

  • list your address at the top right
  • write the date underneath
  • begin Dear...
  • explain your purpose in the first paragraph
  • go into more detail in the middle paragraphs - try to link your ideas together
  • round off at the end - perhaps by returning to the main purpose
  • add a greeting before your signature
  • only use slang if you know the reader won't mind
Writing to someone whose name you don't know?

  • Begin Dear Sir or Dear Madam and finish with Yours faithfully

Writing to someone unfamiliar whose name you know?

  • Begin Dear Mr/Ms and end with Yours sincerely


For all links and resources click at top right.


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UKBoy's letter to Becks wins award

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