Ideas for Business Letter Writing

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ms_chandler, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2008

    I teach 7th grade, and we'll be teaching letter writing next week. This used to be covered in 6th grade, so I haven't taught it before. I've searched many websites and found a lot of help, but I'm trying to find a topic for the whole class. For the friendly letter, I will have them write to future jr. high schoolers giving them advice. For the business letter, I need some ideas. I was thinking about having them write a letter to administration, but that might backfire. This is a short lesson... just 2 block periods, then we move on the next thing before exams. I need a specific idea, so we can get on the move and write within a few minutes.

    Thanks!
     
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  3. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Mar 1, 2008

    I had my students write complaint letters (they loved it!) - they had lots to complain about - haha. But they learned that they have to use formal language and give specific details. They also learned how to complain without sounding like they are complaining!
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    That's a good one!

    I just got through writing 2 issues that made it to the top 9 most critical issues for the army to fix (out of 103 issues)! I had the problem, why it is a problem (effect), why they need to fix it (from business point of view/benefits them) and specific well researched recommedations. You obviously know I have a problem but I was flattering and to the point with the complaint. I love Carlea's lesson. It is hard to write a complaint letter without sounding like a complaint.
     
  5. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Mar 2, 2008

    Get the letter writing book from Remedia Publications.
     
  6. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Mar 2, 2008

    Was this a complaint letter about school? Or was this just any complaints that they had? Could you give me some ideas? This sounds interesting!
     
  7. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    Mar 2, 2008

    One of our benchmarks this quarter is the business letter (9th grade). We have a sample letter to show them - a customer is writing to a toy company because the Tiny Tent she bought for her three-year old was missing parts. Then we help them come up with a letter themselves - perhaps writing to Apple because their Ipod is broken (something they can relate to).

    We decided to model the full block style (all elements aligned with left side of the page) since that appears to be the most popular style these days.

    I am blessed as a new teacher to have collaboration meetings with the other 9th grade English teachers every 2 weeks, and this is one of the lessons I got from them.
     
  8. ms_chandler

    ms_chandler Comrade

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    Thanks! I like that idea. Maybe a cell phone or laptop would be other examples.
     
  9. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    Mar 6, 2008

    They got to choose anything. I had a few write about their iPods not working; fast food places that weren't fast enough, rude, or wrong order; online video game that always kicked him off; shoes that wore out too quickly; guitar that was delivered but scratched. I only had one who wrote to the Food Services Dept because he wanted more choices for lunch.

    I gave them an example of one that I had written so they could see the real world use.
     
  10. carlea

    carlea Comrade

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    I forgot to add that I had to teach them who to write it to - they had to research on the internet or call the place to find out the manager's name. I also had to teach them to be very specific - date problem occurred, any communication that had already happened, names of the people they were complaining about (if any), etc.

    I also had to teach them to end it with a request for a response and to give their ph. # and/or email.
     
  11. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Mar 6, 2008

    I'm teaching business letter, too! Small world!

    I told my students that there are 3 reasons for writing a business letter: complaint/praise of a product, request information, and for employment. The first practice letter I had them write was to a business they might like to work for. Today I had them write to the school about the temperature in my room (ongoing problems with it being too cold). The last letter I'm going to have them write is to the governor of California about the budget cuts and how it will affect them. I'm going to send them, too.
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2008

    Instead of giving mine specific topics, I stay with general ones. My 7th graders just finished writing persuasive letters. Most wrote business letters, but a few wrote personal letters to their parents about items that they wanted for their birthdays. One wrote to the assistant principal wanting her hallway rights reinstated. Several recommended artists for the rock & roll hall of fame. One wrote to an author requesting a school visit. One wrote to the major about something in town. They did a really nice job because they were writing about things that really meant something to them.

    As a tie-in to one of my novel units, I have students write to places they'd like to visit and request travel information. When we mail them, I have them come back to the school. The kids LOVE getting mail.
     
  13. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Mar 6, 2008

    I've taught business writing with letters of complaints, too. The kids really do enjoy it. I use Idiot Letters by Paul Rosa as examples, and the kids get a big kick out of them.
     
  14. crzymtngirl75

    crzymtngirl75 Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2008


    I WANT IN ON THIS ONE! LOL
    AWESOME PLAN! I commend you! (Fellow SoCal teacher here!)
     

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