Here’s a free template for a Letter to Santa to use during writers’ workshop. Children will be thrilled to write a letter to Santa. Knowing the children’s family traditions is important. Referring to the Family Tree (which can be completed at the beginning of the year) can help determine the students able to do this assignment.
One option is to have a variety of activities available to choose from, including the Santa Letter. Such as Top 5 Hanukkah Activities or the Winter Writers’ Workshop Book. You can also ask children who celebrate Hanukkah to bring a dreidel game.
Explain that they will be writing a letter to Santa. Show the students your own letter to Santa. What do you want Santa to know? What do you want for Christmas? Write each step on the white board. Explain how they should let you know that they are ready to have you proofread, so they can trace over in pen. (e.g. Get out a silent reading book and read quietly, so you can rotate through the room.)
Start with a web. Make each line a paragraph. Write a draft with pencil under the web. Explain that during the brainstorming stage, you don’t need to worry about spelling. Start writing the draft under the web.
Make any necessary changes to the paragraphs and sentences. Would you like to change a sentence or paragraph? What details would you like to add?
Start writing the finished version on the Santa Letter template using pencil.
Teacher shows students how to proofread using the word wall, words on board, dictionary and buddy feedback. Make any changes.
Hand out dictionaries, or if your students have the Words Writing series of books, they may enjoy adding to the list of words in the differentiated, personal dictionary.
Here’s a list of words to write on the board during the teacher modeling (explained above). Add more words as students discover the correct spelling. It can be helpful to have students go up to the board and write the words on the board from the dictionary to share with the class.