Friendship Letters
Brentwood School (Lower Division)

The premise of the assignment is to help students realize the power of kind words. The letters not only increase the self-esteem of the recipients but when writing, students learn the importance of reflecting on others in an effort to acknowledge other people’s strengths, thereby making people feel good about themselves. The hope is that students will internalize the feelings when writing and receiving the letters.

Students will identify specific characteristics that make someone a good friend, good person, and good citizen.
Students will realize the power of kind words.
Students will reflect and recognize other people’s strengths.
Artistic materials (crayons, colored pencils, markers)
Laminating machine
Binding materials
Towards the end of the school year, the second grade teachers pick two students’ names out of a hat each day until all students names in the class have been picked from the hat.
The teachers begin the first lesson by brainstorming with the students specific characteristics that make someone a good friend, good person, and good citizen. Together, they create a long list of adjectives, which include Brentwood School’s core values: trust, respect, honesty, caring, and responsibility. The students are asked to write letters to the two students they selected, outlining qualities they admire about both individuals. The letters are to include at least three complete sentences. Students are also asked to draw a picture above their writing, which should include the person they are writing about engaged in something s/he enjoys.
Every student writes a personalized letter and draws a picture for every child in his or her class and every child receives a personalized letter and picture from every student in his or her class. This is a great way to conclude the school year. The students truly know one another by year’s end, which adds depth and sincerity to each letter. The teachers bind each student’s letters together, laminating a front and back cover that includes a class photograph, for the student to save his or her book as a meaningful keepsake.
Students will identify other students’ strengths in letters to them. Students will draw a picture of something the student they are writing to enjoys.