Writing Letters to Friends or Family

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13543

There's never been a better time to send informal letters to your friends, family, or a pen pal! This lesson will explain what informal letters are, what they're for, and offer a chance to practice.


Interpersonal Skills, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5), Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Dear Learner,

Sometimes it's nice to send a letter to people you care about. And who doesn't love getting mail?

In the age of digital communication, letter writing has become a lost art. Want to help bring it back? Learn on!


you've got mail

Think about the last time you received a letter from someone.

  • How did it feel?

woman getting mail

It seems, more and more, that the mailbox is usually full of junk mail.

  • When something shows up with your name on the envelope, isn't it an exciting surprise?

It's easy to give someone else that same small joy. All it takes is a little time, an envelope, and the cost of a stamp (and there are lots of cool stamps to pick from)!

Informal or casual letters don't have as many formatting guidelines as formal or business letters do. (To learn about formal letters, check out our lesson under Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.)

Formatting means the way things are laid out or organized on the page. These are the guidelines for informal letters:

  • Typically, you put a date on letters.
  • Greet the person to whom you are writing.
  • Include a closing and signature at the end.

Take a look at this example of a casual letter:

letter example

Notice where the date, greeting, and closing are in this letter. This is where you place those things in a letter.

You may have noticed that this example includes the common greeting "Dear," and closing "Your friend," which are common opening and closing phrases in casual letters. But there are many different ways to greet and close in a casual letter.

  • How many can you think of?

Now, look at the way the greeting and closing are formatted in the example letter above.

Note that the greeting is "Dear (Name)," with a comma. Then, you begin a new paragraph to start your letter. The closing is on a separate line, also with a comma, and the signature goes on the line below the closing.

  • Feeling ready to write a letter to someone?

Continue on to Got It? to get started!

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