Pencil in Some Time for National Letter Writing Day!

Dear Mountain Lake PBS readers,

In today’s digital world, writing a letter seems so old-fashioned. Isn’t it easier to just text or email each other?

Letter writing has so many benefits, and is a great opportunity to cultivate literacy, creativity, and thoughtfulness in our kids — and in ourselves too. Letters help us do everything from stay in touch with friends and family, and send news around the world, to reaching out to local and national politicians with a civic appeal. Letter writing can also help improve handwriting and social and literacy skills for young learners, while increasing self-confidence through purposeful writing for older children and teens.

Learn more about the timeless practice of letter writing with the activities, classroom-ready lessons, and videos below. And don’t forget to grab your postcards and stamps on December 7th for National Letter Writing Day to join in the fun!


All About Letter Writing

A Letter for Grandma | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Grades PreK-K
Follow the letter that Luke mails to his Grandma. Teach kids that making something or writing a letter is a great way to show someone else how much they are appreciated.

How Important is Handwriting These Days?

Grades PreK-3
Think about the last time you wrote something. Did it involve pencil and paper? Or fingertips and a phone screen? The ability to write is really important and will benefit children in numerous ways — academically, creatively, and emotionally — throughout life. So where does penmanship fit into the bigger picture?

Letter Writing with CALS Children’s Library | Blueberry’s Clubhouse

Grades K-5
In this episode of “Blueberry’s Clubhouse,” learn how to write letters to your friends, family, pen-pals, and more with Central Arkansas Library System – CALS Children’s Library and Learning Center.

Poet Willie Perdomo on the Value of Writing Letters in a Digital World | PBS NewsHour

Grades 9-12
Texting and emailing have revolutionized the way we communicate, enabling us to be more efficient and stay in touch more easily. But they have also altered the dynamics of some of our most important relationships. Within this new digital communication landscape, what have we lost? Poet Willie Perdomo, author of “The Crazy Bunch,” shares his humble opinion on how a handwritten letter expresses more than just words.

Activities, Lessons & More

Picture Books About Writers and Writing

Grades PreK-4
Celebrate the art of writing in all its various forms with these ten picture books about writers and writing that will tickle your children’s funny bones and teach them some history too.

Tips for Writing Thank-You Notes

Grades PreK-5
Writing thank-you notes is a great activity to do with your child. Regardless of the reason for the note, you have the opportunity to spend some time together encouraging writing, and your child will learn an important etiquette skill that will serve him or her for a lifetime.

Let’s Go Luna! Postcards

Grades K-4
Do you have a pen pal or family member who lives far away? Print out these “Let’s Go Luna!” Postcards and send them a note saying just how much they mean to you!

Play Pretend: Post Office

Grades K-5
Introduce your child to the post office and the way sending mail works by creating a mini-post office in your own home! Make a mailbox so family members can leave letters and postcards for one another, in this activity from Arthur.

Writing Letters for Social Action | Teaching Multicultural Literature

Grades 6-8
This teacher’s guide explores how to assist students in crafting persuasive letters to real audiences, outline problems, and propose solutions. As the students research and write these letters, they move from analysis to action and learn basic rhetorical strategies for incorporating evidence into a written argument.

Letters to Poets | PBS NewsHour Extra

Grades 7-10
Check out this series of classroom activities from The Academy of American Poets that allow students to explore and interact with poetry by writing letters to poets.

The Importance of Letters to Soldiers at War | Letters Home to Hero Street

Grades 9-12
Learn about the letters home to Hero Street from Frank Sandoval, a Mexican-American soldier in World War II. He left his home in Silvis, Illinois, to fight in World War II. Over the course of his years away, he wrote many letters back to his family. In this lesson, students read some of Frank’s letters and learn about the experience of fighting in World War II. They also write letters to soldiers stationed overseas.