Letters to Soldiers

District: Lowell Area Schools Building: Alto Elementary
Teacher(s): Rachel Millhisler
Main Contact: Rachel Millhisler Email: rmillhisler@lowellschools.com
Grade Level: 4th Subject(s): Social Studies, ELA
First Trimester:           Second Trimester:           Third Trimester:
First Semester:           Second Semester:           All Year:   x

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Students will review and practice letter writing in the friendly letter format. They will write to a soldier and hopefully be able to continue writing the same person over the course of the year. We would possibly send packages to the soldiers they are writing.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

Need for communication to troops to encourage them while serving. The need determined from knowing two people who are currently serving in Iraq.

What service will you provide to address the need?

Writing letters to servicemen and women.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

Letter writing skills

What are the educational goals?

For students to improve letter writing skills of a friendly letter and as springboard for writing a business letter.

For students to learn about the world around them and show compassion for others.


Curriculum Crafter Connections www.curriculumcrafter.com

Strand: 04ELA: Writing
TLW: Demonstrate the production and distribution of writing. (Gist: Production and Distribution of Writing)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

MI- Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations
• Strand : WRITING

Topic : Writing Process

Expectation : W.PR.04.05 Edit and proofread their writing using appropriate resources (e.g., dictionary, spell check, grammar check, grammar references, writing references) and grade level appropriate checklists both individually and in groups.

Topic : Handwriting

Expectation : W.HW.04.01 Write neatly and legibly.

Topic : Writing Attitude

Expectation : W.AT.04.01 Be enthusiastic about writing and learning to write.


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

For reflection, we will have classroom discussions and journal write about our experience.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

Learning about soldiers’ lives and their experiences


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

With guidance, the students will decided what they want to write about, what to send in packages, and ideas for types of stationary that would be more “fun” than school lined paper.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

Soldiers serving our country

How will students benefit from this partnership?

They will be connected to someone serving and will be able to learn about showing compassion to someone away from their home.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

They will receive encouragement as they serve from students.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

I will be able to assess their learning by the format of their letters. If they have the correct format, they have learned how to write letters.

How will you assess your service goals?

By the number of letters written, hopefully we will get multiple letters written. Possibly we will get letters back from the soldiers we write.


Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

• classroom discussions
• pictures of soldiers
• using the newspapers we get each week if needed for discussion

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

• write letters
• send packages
• possibly meet the soldiers when they come home