Welcome to CreateBetterWriters.com’s Free Monthly Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 8

Volume 1, Issue 8
Special Interest Articles:
• Book Review –
A Framework for
Understanding Poverty
• Business Letter
Individual Highlights:
Free Lesson Plan:
Writing the
Business Letter
Book Review –
A Framework for
Business Letter
Worksheet #1
Business Letter
Worksheet #2
Presents the
“I Can’t Believe We’re Giving this Away”
Welcome to
Free Monthly Newsletter
Free Lesson Plan: Writing the Business Letter
If you received last month’s newsletter, Writing the Friendly Letter,
you already have a powerful resource that will help you get started teaching the
business letter. It is a good idea to begin learning to write business letters by
first learning how to write a friendly letter. The friendly letter is easy to learn
and follows a similar format to the business letter. If you missed last month’s
newsletter, here is a review of the critical first step in learning letter writing.
Knowing the parts of a friendly letter is important.
If the students have these parts memorized, they are sure
to include them. There is an excellent trick that will help
students remember the five parts of the friendly letter.
After they practice the trick once, review it a few times
throughout the school year. They should remember it forever. Follow the
steps below to help the students memorize the friendly letter:
Step 1 – Have the students point to their heads and say, “Heading”.
This is the top of the friendly letter. Pointing to their head will help them
remember the heading. Go over where to place the heading. The trick for
remembering the parts of the heading is this: The Address goes first. The
City, State and Zip Code goes second followed by the Date. The three lines
begin with A, C, D, not A, B, C. Model on the board where to put the
address; city, state, zip code; and date. As you do the worksheets later, you
can remind them of this trick.
Step 2 – Have the students point to their mouths and say,
“Greeting”. (This is also known as the “Salutation”.) You greet people by
saying “hello”. In a friendly letter, you greet the reader by putting a greeting
such as Dear_____, or My good friend __________, . Review Steps 1 and 2.
Page 2 of 11
Work Smarter,
Not Harder!
A System That Improves:
Writing Assessment
Descriptive Writing
Vocabulary Development
Writing Tricks
Research Reports
Letter Writing
Much More!
Order your copy at:
Writing the Business Letter (cont.)
MC Publications Monthly
Step 3 – Have the students point to their bodies and say, “Body”. Our body
is the largest part of our anatomy. It is the place where most of the important
activity takes place. Likewise, the body of the letter is where the main message is
delivered. Review Steps 1 through 3.
Step 4 – We’ve been using our bodies to memorize the parts of the friendly
letter. We are going to continue this with our clothing. The next part of the friendly
letter is the “closing” which sounds like “clothing”. Therefore, the students will
grab their pant leg or skirt and say “Closing”. Obviously, explain to them that
“closing” sounds like “clothing” which is why they are grabbing their clothes.
Review Steps 1 through 4.
Step 5 – The final part of the friendly letter is the signature. Since the
students have just grabbed their pant legs, they are going to use those same legs for
the final step. With the big toe, the students are going to draw an “S”. They will say
“Signature” as they do this.
After you have reviewed the five parts of a friendly
letter, your students now have the steps memorized. A fun
activity is to time the students to see who can say the five
steps the fastest. In most cases, the students are able to do it
in less than two seconds.
Business Letter
Once the students have memorized the parts and format of the friendly
letter, the business letter is easy. Once again, have a sample of a business letter on
a poster or overhead as a reference while reviewing the parts of a business letter.
Step 1 – Begin by reviewing the parts of a friendly letter. Be sure to use
the hand motions as you say each step.
Step 2 – The parts of the business letter are basically the same. There is a
heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature. However, the business letter is a
two-headed monster. It has two headings, not just one. The second heading is
known as the “inside address”.
Page 3 of 11
MC Publications Monthly
Writing the Business Letter (cont.)
Step 3 – Show the students a model of a business letter. Use a large poster
or give them a handout of a business letter. Ask the students to find as many
similarities and differences as they can. See the samples below. Below are a few
suggestions to point out in case the students miss them.
THE definitive work on
teaching the
Five-Paragraph Essay!
Order your copy at:
1. The author’s address is included in the heading.
2. There is a greeting, body, closing, and signature.
3. The body is made up of paragraphs.
4. Both are used to communicate ideas.
1. The heading, inside address, body, closing and signature all line up in the business letter.
Only the heading, closing, and signature line up in the friendly letter.
2. The friendly letter doesn’t have an inside address.
3. The greeting of the business letter has a colon, not a comma.
Page 4 of 11
Writing the Business Letter (cont.)
Differences (cont.):
4. The greeting of the business letter is more formal.
5. The paragraphs are not indented in a business letter. There is a space
between the paragraphs.
6. The signature of a typed business letter is written by hand.
Step 4 – Copy Worksheet #1 at the end of this newsletter on both sides of
the paper. It shows students the business letter format. On the front, label each
part of the business letter: Heading, Inside Address, Greeting, Body, Closing,
and Signature. On the back, write a sample business letter together as a class.
The lines will help them format the letter.
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grades 7-8
Home School Edition
Order your copy at:
Step 5 – Complete Worksheet #2. Students need to unscramble the parts
of a business letter and format the letters correctly. They can use Worksheet #1
for the first few to use as a reference. However, they should be able to put the
parts in the correct order without this help by the end of the worksheet.
Book Review:
A Framework for Understanding Poverty
By Ruby K. Payne
If you have students in your class living in poverty, stop reading this book
review, go to the “Book Store” at CreateBetterWriters.com, and purchase A
Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne. I’ll wait …
… now that you’re back, you’ll probably want to know why I insisted that you get
this book right now. Well, it’s kind of common sense that the students’ economic
level plays a roll in their achievement in school. While reading A Framework for
Understanding Poverty, not only will you understand the effects of poverty on the
academic lives of students, you’ll be well equipped to help turn these students’ lives
around. This is a book you’ll want to pass around your staff lounge. Your principal
will want presentations made at staff meetings, and you’ll be the hero who brought it
to your school’s attention.
Page 5 of 11
A Framework for Understanding Poverty (cont.)
“I can say from
experience that the
schools in the poor
areas have a much
higher percentage of
students who
exhibit these
A Framework
Order Your Copy
Book Store
Have you ever had struggling students who also have the following
* Impulse Control Problems
* Associate with others who encourage negative or selfdestructive behavior.
* Feels the need to be the “entertainer”.
* Would rather look tough than smart.
* Little awareness regarding the consequences of one’s actions.
* Poor organization skills.
You might say that you’ve had students from wealthy families who’ve
shown the same behavior. That may be true, but these behaviors are far more
typical in students who come from generational poverty, poverty that continues
from one generation to another. I have personally spent significant amounts of
time in high and low socio-economic areas. I can say from experience that the
schools in the poor areas have a much higher percentage of students who
exhibit these problems. There may be similar factors that might contribute to
the “rich” kid’s behavior. However, the “rich” kid also will have a support
system and “hidden rules” that will enable him/her to stay out of the cycle of
It doesn’t take a PH.D. to figure out that a single
parent who is homeless is more concerned about feeding
his or her children than helping them do their homework
or reading to them before they go to bed. This book goes
far beyond the obvious factors that inhibit the learning
of students in poverty. Ruby Payne does an excellent job painting a picture
of how all people use “hidden rules” to help us function in life. Since
school is a part of life, the “hidden rules” that one class of people use to
help them succeed in school are much different than the “hidden rules” that
others use to just survive.
What Ruby Payne does in this book is help the teacher understand
the mindset of families in poverty. We get to read about real students with
real problems. Most teachers will have no problem identifying similar
A Framework for Understanding Poverty (cont.)
students from their own classrooms whose lives are just like those in the book.
When you learn what makes these students so ambivalent about education, the
thing that will help them escape the situation that they’re in, it will give you more
patience and empathy.
Here are just a few of the wonderful things you will discover in this book.
1. What is poverty? 2. What class are you in, and could you survive in another?
3. What are the hidden rules of each class? 4. Do our schools encourage one
group’s “hidden rules” more than others? 5. How do we help students move out
of the poverty mindset? 6. What are the four reasons why people are able to
escape poverty?
Be prepared to be fascinated. A Framework for Understanding Poverty is
available in the Book Store at CreateBetterWriters.com. You won’t be
Workshops Available - Reading / Writing / Grammar
If your school or district is
Outside of Southern
looking for powerful staff
California, workshops can be
development, David Dye is a teacher /
arranged on weekends and in the
trainer who has written seven books
summer. Summer workshops are
and presented all over the country.
available from late June through late
Workshops can be designed to meet
the specific needs of your staff. His
To arrange a workshop, or for
specialties include writing, reading,
more information, please call (562)
grammar, English language learning,
627-5662 or send email to:
and differentiated instruction.
[email protected]
Page 6 of 11
“When you learn
what makes these
students so
ambivalent about
education... it will
give you more
patience and
MC Publications
[email protected]
Next Month
* Adverbs vs. Adjectives
* Book Review: A
Framework for
Understanding Poverty
– Part II
(Sign Your Name)
(Print Your Name)
Name: ________________________
Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, rewrite the business letters below. Be sure to put them in the
proper format.
4597 Snowy Hill St.
/ January 10, 2004
Juneau, AK 99801 /
Anchorage, AK 99504 / Buster’s Hiking Supplies / 9128 Packer Blvd. /
Buster Brown, Tour Guide
Harriet Hiker
Please send me information about your hiking
Dear Mr. Brown:
July 18, 2010
25801 Golden Ave.
/ Denver, CO 80204 /
Yosemite Sam’s School of Anger Management
329 Mustache Rd.
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
/ Yosemite Sam, Counselor
/ Dear Yosemite Sam: /
What should I do?
I need help. There’s a screwy rabbit that is driving me crazy.
/ Elmer Fudd
Hartford, CT 06106
/ October 20, 2006 /
Boston, MA 02114 /
Jone’s Flowers
2984 Ocean Blvd. /
/ Kim Mitchel, Florist
Please send me a catalogue of your lovely bouquets.
Nancy Miller
129 Nectar Rd.
Dear Kim Mitchel:
/ Yours truly,
55821 Rocker Rd.
Andy’s Elvis School
/ September 14, 2007
/ Memphis, TN 38104
305 Hound Dog Drive / Sincerely,
Nashville, TN 37206 /
Andy Koff, Elvis Impersonator
/ Dear Mr. Koff:
Hugo Moran
How can I be a great
Elvis impersonator like you? Please let me know.