Letter Writing

Students’ Learning Outcomes

  1. ·         Analyze and compare various informal and formal letters to note differences of conventions, vocabulary, style and tone.
  2. ·         Follow conventions of formal letter with respect to layout, solutions, etc.
  3. ·         Recognize and demonstrate use of appropriate vocabulary, style and tone in formal letters.
  4. ·         Write the address on the envelope clearly and in proper format.
  5. ·         Write formal letters to people in immediate and extended social and academic environment for various purposes:

Information for Teacher

Concept Map

  1. ·         Informal letters are written to friends, family members and people that we know well, for example, a letter to an old school friend.
  2. ·         Formal letters are written to people that we don’t know well, for example, a letter to the local council to enquire about childcare facilities.

Business Letter Parts:

1.       Return address– address of letter writer.
First and last name, address, city, state and zip code.
2.     The date
3.       Inside address– of recipient (who you are writing the letter to) first and last name, title, company, address, city, state and zip code.
4.       Solution– if the person is not a friend, write “Dear Mr. Attic Ahmed”. If the person is a friend, you may say “Dear Sally’.
5.       Body of letter- this is the purpose of the letter. Should be clear and concise, with more than one paragraph.
6.       Complimentary close-“Sincerely”, or “best regards”, “yours truly”, etc.
7.       Signature- handwritten signature
8.       Name of writer

Material / Resources

Chalk/marker, board, worksheet

Worm up activity

·         Elicit the differences between the formal and informal letters.
·         List characteristics of formal and informal letters on the board.
Discuss with the students the following:
1.       A formal letter- is written to: principals, editors, managers, business concerns etc.
2.       A formal letter- is written to: friends, family members, relatives etc.
3.       Note the- differences in two columns on the board.
4.       Students must also prepare a table of differences in their notebook.


Activity 1 (VI, VII)

·         Brainstorm the students about the reasons for writing formal/informal letters.
·         Ask them to prepare a concept web in the notebooks on the basis of the class discussion.

Activity 2 (VI, VII)

·         Discuss the features of formal and informal language of the letter with students and then write them on the board.
1.       Not emotional
2.       No contractions
3.       No slang
4.       Proper format
1.       Emotional
2.       Contractions
3.       Slang
4.       No proper format

Activity (Grade VII)

·         Divide the class in groups of 4-5 students and give them an inappropriately written formal letter on board.

Sample Formal Letter (Incorrect) Worksheet

Fine Foods Ltd.
10 Canal Road
Mr. Ahmed Husain
Sales manager
Modern Software system
Kullberg plaza
12th January 2017
Dear Sir,
Stock Control Software System
Thank you for your letter of 1st January and the information you sent regarding the stock control system offered by your company. I certainly feel the system will meet our requirements. However, there are some points which I would like to clarify before we go ahead and order the system.
Firstly, although you mentioned that the system has recently been updated, I wondered whether we might be eligible for a discount on any future upgrades.
Secondly, the installation and implementation period of three weeks, to which you refer in your letter, seems rather long. Is there any possibility of getting the system up and running on a shorter timescale?
I would be very grateful for a swift response to these queries, in order that we can begin the process as soon as possible.
Thank you in advance for your assistance. I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,
Ahmed Husain
·         Ask students to pick out the mistakes in the letter. Ask questions like:
1.       Have they been in contact before?
2.       What’s it about?
3.       What are the problems with the system?
·         List the mistakes on the board e.g. its style is too informal students must suggest which isn’t suitable for a formal letter or otherwise.
·         Make changes to the letter to make it formal or informal as required (vocabulary, sentence structure, layout, paragraphing, greeting and close).
·         In pairs, students re-write the letter to make it more appropriate as a formal/informal letter. Display the best letter in classroom.
Answer key:
Sample Formal Letter (correct) Worksheet
  Fine Foods Ltd,
10 Canal Road
Hello Mr. Ahmed Husain
I got the letter you sent on 1st January, and the stuff about the stock control system you make. It sounds great for us, but I want to check some things before we buy it. You said the system is up-to-date, but what happens if you update it again soon? Do we get money off the new one? You said it takes 3 weeks to install the system- that’s too long! Can’t you do it any Quicker? Hope you can reply soon, we’re in a bit of a hurry.
Ahmed Husain
Activity 4    (Grade VII)
·         (Drafting) Give students a topic to draft a formal letter,
1.       Teacher draws formats of formal and informal letters on the board.
2.       Divide the students in groups of 4-5 members each.
3.       Half of the groups write formal letter, the other half write informal letter.
4.       Exchange the letters among groups and find mistakes, if any
Sum up / Conclusion
·         Ask different students to tell features of a formal letter.
1.       Ask the students to convert the following informal expressions into formal expressions.
·         Hi
·         Don’t
·         Ali
·         I’m
·         Wow
·         Good morning
·         Don’t
·         Mr. Ali
·         I am
·         Well done/ congratulations
2.       Last month you bought a new camera but it stopped working after two weeks. Write a formal letter to the manager of the company complaining him about what happen.
Follow up
·         Ask students to write a letter to the newspaper editor-complaining him about the lack of cleanliness and inefficient services provided by the garbage disposal teams in their village/colony/city?s


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