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Writing Historical Letters

My students' historical letters were due today, and I couldn't have been happier with them (the letters or the students).  They had to write a historical letter from the point of view of one of the European Explorers we had studied in class.  I wrote the success criteria in the format of a friendly letter, so the students could see the letter format they were to use (wish I had taken a picture of this for you).  Basically, they needed to write a 3 paragraph letter to a family member back home:  the first paragraph was to discuss their journey, the second paragraph explained what they discovered, and the third paragraph discussed their plans for the future.  Students were to use historically accurate facts that they had researched from their textbook, but also throw in some fictional details (which gave us a great opportunity to discuss the genre of historical fiction).  Lastly, they were to age the letter in some way to give it an authentic look.  It's funny how this last little requirement completely excites the students.  They couldn't wait to get home and burn some paper.  Every year I worry that this assignment will lead to household disaster, but as far as I know, I haven't been responsible for any real fires ... yet.



This was one of my favourite letters.  This student chose Henry Hudson, and wrote a 3 page letter!  He even hand-made an envelope for the letter (and the envelope had a wax seal!).

The letters look great displayed on the bulletin board just outside my door.  And the best part is I get this fabulous whiff of coffee or tea every time I walk into my class.



Happy Wednesday!!!








13 comments:

  1. Those are wonderful products because those kids have a WONDERFUL teacher!
    You are AWESOME, Jen Runde!

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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    Replies
    1. Right back at YOU!

      You're too sweet, Kim ... too sweet!!!

      Delete
  2. What a great project!!!! This could also work well for president's day from the point of view of one of the presidents. You've been PINNED! The BB turned out so pretty!


    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speaking of being pinned - the last thing I pinned from your blog was repinned over 250 times!!! Now that's AMAZING, Mor!!!

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  3. wow you're almost at 1000 followers! you're amazing!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen from...
    A Teacher's Treasure
    Teaching Treasures Shop

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks ... I may or may not be checking obsessively and driving my husband crazy ;)

      Delete
  4. Outstanding! Thank you for sharing! :)

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  5. I love this writing idea and will certainly be doing it with my kids. And CONGRATS on hitting 1,000 followers! But in my opinion you should have a million cause you're definitely one in a million!

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Tamara. It's always a hit with my students ... and now my own kids want to burn some paper, too. I may be sorry I showed them this. ;)
      Thank-you SO much! It's thanks to TBA that my blog is what it is today. YOU are one in a million!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this idea. We are going to do the same thing using the Boston Tea Party or the Boston Massacre. Have to "double dip" with social studies and reading/writing to get things covered! Have a wonderful weekend.

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  7. Great idea. Perhaps staining the paper using teabags would be safer?

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  8. My class used this technique as well to write diary entries as if they were traveling with Lewis & Clark. I'll be expanding to use letters as well ~ Thanks!

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