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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Writing Workbooks  >  Multiple Skill Levels
Writing a Letter to an Author

This exercise, writing a letter to the author of a book you've read, is a way to practice writing -- in concrete, detailed form -- about the way a book can affect our lives.

Write a letter of up to 500 words (grades 4-7) and up to 1000 words (grades 8-12) to the author of a book you especially liked.

Tell the author how reading his or her work (name the title) somehow changed your way of thinking about yourself or the world around you. Make a connection between yourself and a character or an event in the story. Did the book mirror your life in some way? What questions did the author force you to ask yourself or others?

Do not summarize the plot of the book. Why? Because the author wrote the story and already knows what happened. What the author doesn't know is the way the book affected you. Be honest, personal, and conversational. Exploring why you react the way you do to literature is a valuable lesson because it teaches you about yourself.

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