Dear Mr

Brief Description

Students write letters to the president. Ask them to include goals they would like to see the administration achieve and good wishes to the president and his family.


  • learn the parts of a letter.
  • use correct grammar and spelling to write a letter.
  • learn the difference inbetween a friendly letter and a business letter.
  • learn the meaning of the word inauguration.


president, inauguration, letter, writing, goals

Materials Needed

  • teacher- and student-researched media sources about the fresh president
  • writing paper
  • pens or pencils
  • chalkboard and chalk
  • envelopes (optional)
  • computer(s) with Internet access (optional)
  • Lesson Plan

    Introduction for junior students:

  • Showcase students a picture of the president from a print or an online source. Ask students to name the person in the picture.
  • Explain the meaning of the word inauguration.
  • Introduction for older students:

  • Have students research print and/or online sources for photos and general background information about the president and the inauguration.
  • Have students share their research with the class. Discuss the meaning of the word inauguration.
  • For all students:

  • Say to students: “Imagine that you have been asked to make a list of goals for the president. What would those goals be?” Write students’ responses on the board.
  • Tell students that they are going to write letters to the president, include the goals they discussed, and send good wishes to the president and his family.
  • For primary students: Work together as a class to write the letter(s).
  • For elementary students: Assist students in embarking their letters. You might suggest the introductory paragraph, or part of an opening sentence that students will finish on their own.
  • For older students: Discuss the differences inbetween a friendly letter and a business letter. Ask students which form they should use for a letter to the president of the United States. Have students write their letters.
  • Extension: Provide envelopes and let students send their letters to the White House. Check the Write to the White House section of the White House 101 Web site for instructions on how to write to the president of the United States.

    Variation for primary and elementary students: Address envelopes for students or display students how to address envelopes.
    Variation for older students: If needed, review how to address an envelope.


    Evaluate students’ letters.

    Lesson Plan Source

    100 Report Card Comments It’s report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a duo dozen report cards or more. A daunting task? Not with Ed World’s help! Included: 100 positive report card comments for you to use and adapt. You’ve reached the end of another grading period, and what could be more daunting than the task of composing insightful, original, and unique comments about every child in your class? The following positive statements will help you tailor your comments to specific children and highlight their strengths. You can also use our statements to indicate a need for improvement. Turn the words around a bit, and you will convert each into a purpose for a child to work toward. Sam cooperates consistently with others becomes Sam needs to cooperate more consistently with others, and Sally uses vivid language in writing may instead read With practice, Sally will learn to use vivid language in her writing. Make Jan seeks fresh challenges into a request for parental support by switching it to read Please encourage Jan to seek fresh challenges. Whether you are tweaking statements from this page or creating original ones, check out our Report Card Thesaurus [see sidebar] that contains a list of adequate adjectives and adverbs. There you will find the right words to keep your comments fresh and accurate. We have organized our 100 report card comments by category. Read the entire list or click one of the category links below to leap to that list. AttitudeBehaviorCharacterCommunication SkillsGroup WorkInterests and TalentsParticipationSocial SkillsTime ManagementWork Habits Attitude The student: is an enthusiastic learner who seems to love school. exhibits a positive outlook and attitude in the classroom. shows up well rested and ready for each day’s activities. shows enthusiasm for classroom activities. shows initiative and looks for fresh ways to get involved. uses instincts to deal with matters independently and in a positive way. strives to reach their utter potential. is committed to doing their best. seeks fresh challenges. takes responsibility for their learning. Behavior The student: cooperates consistently with the teacher and other students. transitions lightly inbetween classroom activities without distraction. is courteous and shows good manners in the classroom. goes after classroom rules. conducts themselves with maturity. responds appropriately when corrected. remains focused on the activity at mitt. resists the urge to be dispelled by other students. is kind and helpful to everyone in the classroom. sets an example of excellence in behavior and cooperation. Character The student: shows respect for teachers and peers. treats school property and the belongings of others with care and respect. is fair and trustworthy in dealings with others. displays good citizenship by assisting other students. joins in school community projects. is worried about the feelings of peers. faithfully performs classroom tasks. can be depended on to do what they are asked to do. seeks responsibilities and goes after through. is thoughtful in interactions with others. Communication Abilities The student: has a well-developed vocabulary. chooses words with care. voices ideas clearly, both vocally and through writing. has a vibrant imagination and excels in creative writing. has found their voice through poetry writing. uses vivid language in writing. writes clearly and with purpose. writes with depth and insight. can make a logical and persuasive argument. listens to the comments and ideas of others without interrupting. Group Work The student: offers constructive suggestions to peers to enhance their work. accepts the recommendations of peers and acts on them when suitable. is sensitive to the thoughts and opinions of others in the group. takes on various roles in the work group as needed or assigned. welcomes leadership roles in groups. shows fairness in distributing group tasks. plans and carries out group activities cautiously. works democratically with peers. encourages other members of the group. helps to keep the work group focused and on task. Interests and Talents The student: has a well-developed sense of humor. holds many varied interests. has a keen interest that has been collective with the class. displays and talks about private items from home when they relate to topics of investigate. provides background skill about topics of particular interest to them. has an extraordinaire understanding and depth of skill about their interests. seeks extra information independently about classroom topics that pique interest. reads extensively for enjoyment. frequently discusses concepts about which they have read. is a gifted performer. is a talented artist. has a flair for dramatic reading and acting. loves sharing their musical talent with the class. Participation The student: listens attentively to the responses of others. goes after directions. takes an active role in discussions. enhances group discussion through insightful comments. shares individual practices and opinions with peers. responds to what has been read or discussed in class and as homework. asks for clarification when needed. regularly volunteers to assist in classroom activities. remains an active learner across the school day. Social Abilities The student: makes friends quickly in the classroom. is well-liked by classmates. treats disagreements with peers appropriately. treats other students with fairness and understanding. is a valued member of the class. has compassion for peers and others. seems convenient in fresh situations. likes conversation with friends during free periods. chooses to spend free time with friends. Time Management The student: tackles classroom assignments, tasks, and group work in an organized manner. uses class time wisely. arrives on time for school (and/or class) every day. is well-prepared for class each day. works at an suitable tempo, neither too quickly or leisurely. completes assignments in the time allotted. paces work on long-term assignments. sets achievable goals with respect to time. completes makeup work in a timely style. Work Habits The student: is a conscientious, hard-working student. works independently. is a self-motivated student. consistently completes homework assignments. puts forward their best effort into homework assignments. exceeds expectations with the quality of their work. readily grabs fresh concepts and ideas. generates neat and careful work. checks work scrupulously before submitting it. stays on task with little supervision. displays self-discipline. avoids careless errors through attention to detail. uses free minutes of class time constructively. creates extraordinaire home projects. Report Card Thesaurus Looking for some good adverbs and adjectives to bring to life the comments that you put on report cards? Go beyond the stale and repetitive With this list, your notes will always be creative and unique. Adjectives attentive, capable, careful, cheerful, certain, cooperative, courteous, creative, dynamic, anxious, spirited, generous, hard-working, helpful, fair, imaginative, independent, industrious, motivated, organized, outgoing, pleasant, polite, resourceful, genuine, unique Adverbs always, commonly, consistently, daily, frequently, monthly, never, sometimes, often, uncommonly, regularly, typically, usually, weekly Updated: Two/6/2017

    Strategies for Instructing Students Leadership Abilities There has been a flood of research pointing to the advantages of social and emotional learning (SEL) and its benefits for developing the entire child—and even specifically their academic abilities and capability to make good choices. But what about its connection to leadership? According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), good SEL abilities can be developed in schools and classrooms in a number of ways, including through leadership opportunities. That comes at a time when leaders in education and the business community don’t think we are doing enough to instruct kids leadership lessons. CASEL and other researchers have found that training leadership or providing opportunities for students to lead helps them with private and social abilities that are in request. For example, Entrepreneur magazine has suggested details about the top leadership abilities we need to instruct children and Forbes magazine discussed top traits of leaders—and both very closely match those abilities that groups like CASEL believe are the core competencies for SEL: things like self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship abilities, and responsible decision-making. It also relates directly to the wide-ranging Partnership for 21st century learning mission, and its goals for life and career abilities, which notes that the business community sees a need for training more leadership abilities in schools. So, here are some ways educators can suggest leadership opportunities, knowing that they’ll also be a valuable part of SEL. Put them in charge. Involve students in leadership opportunities in the classroom—from heading the discussion of a lesson to handing out papers. Experts say such opportunities should become part of the classroom procedures each day. It benefits the student with the assignment and peers who must work with a peer leader. Activities involving student leadership in the classroom may help students most when teachers (or, even, in a respectful way, other students) positively assess their treating of the responsibility. So a teacher might congratulate a student on their introduction to a lesson, but suggest they speak slower. Or, they might write a quick note home to tell a parent how a student either followed through on an assigned leadership task successfully—or without prompting took one on. Showcase off yours. Talk to students about why you expect certain behavior (but not at that moment when the behavior is not under control) or how you organize your class as its leader. Explain how leadership works in your mind and how you would like to share it because good leaders do. Collective leadership, you can explain, requests responsibility. Look for an example of your leading responsibilities each day and point it out. Provide some good examples. Regularly mix in discussions about good leadership—whether it’s a more detailed critique of why a famous leader succeeded or a talk about the leadership that their principal must show—or their parents or a coach. Look for examples among their favorites music, movie, or sports starlets when they are showcasing good (or not so good) leadership behavior. Assign a search for one. For example, a story of a sports starlet getting his team to help a good cause or a musician who can incite a crowd (positively or negatively) with one comment. Talk about the quality of leadership in figures who loom large in your subject area. Produce leadership lessons. Explain what leadership is and why it is valuable as a life skill and in careers. Find good brief lessons as warm-ups twice a month. Get them invested in improving school culture. Find ways to get students to switch school culture by being leaders. The most common are perhaps stopping bullying, raising environmental awareness, or promoting understanding of students from other cultures, but you can enlist students in petite ways in your class to do their part in improving the culture of the school–behaving better and reporting on it in class or inviting a lonely student to join their group at lunch. Prize students who report a school-wide leadership role they took on. Have an announcement every day recognizing a leadership act. Involve them in extracurricular activities too. Extracurricular activities permit students to lead and can be ignited for that purpose. Include more students in smaller groups, and encourage them to develop leadership in the group and then school generally through a club senate, where rotating members from various clubs serve, separate from the traditional student government. (It often attracts students who already wield these abilities.) Individual teachers can begin clubs for their specialties—history or math or tech clubs—or even groups related to a private interest or one’s culture. One English teacher had a drumming club, one on African culture, and one a fly-fishing group. It is key then to give members leadership opportunities to run meetings or plan a project. Give them space. When students are given leadership opportunities—and especially when they step up and take them on, give them freedom to fight and even fail, but support them. Experts often note there is no better lesson than failure, but you can help break the fall or encourage the comeback. Jim Paterson has been a newspaper and magazine editor and an award-winning writer for The Washington Post, USA Today Weekend, the Christian Science Monitor, Parents magazine, and a number of national and regional publications. During a break from writing he worked as a school counselor for seven years and quickly became head of a counseling department and “Counselor of the Year” in Montgomery County, Md. He now writes about education primarily. More about Jim at

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