I Am a Mini Cooper

September 24, 2010 by  
Filed under Mini-Lessons, Writing Practice

WRITING ASSIGNMENT:  Letter of Introduction


Using Metaphors to Identify Ourselves

I probably should have posted this at the very beginning of the school year but it’s been a whirlwind of a year already – and we’ve only reached the very first midterm.  Yippee yikes!  This is the first writing assignment I gave to my accelerated freshmen this year. At the opening of the second day of class, I reveal the assignment; they have the class period in the lab to complete the letter.  During Open House, I pass out the final drafts to parents.

Parents got such a kick out of this. I always try to send them home with something besides a syllabus.  I received numerous emails from parents this year, in particular, stating they usually never receive anything other than a syllabus from other teachers and appreciate the bit of insight to their child’s work. Because of the great response I get, I’d thought I’d pass it on to my English/Language Arts followers. Just because their children are teenagers does not mean parents don’t need or desire detailed information about students’ lives at school.   It really does not take that much more effort on our part to get that information to them; and, it feels so gratifying when we do.

Here’s the assignment.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be given at the beginning of the year:

Letter of Introduction

I also give my own letter as an example.  Here’s an excerpt from my letter:

I am thrilled to get to know and work with each one of you this year.  You don’t know too much about me yet but you soon will.  To give you an idea, I am a Mini Cooper because I look small but have a powerful engine underneath.  I am a wrapped present because you never know what is inside until you try to get to know me.  I am a lioness because I work quietly raising my young but will roar loudly to protect.  Finally, I am an unfinished novel because I have experienced many chapters in life, look forward to experiencing many more, and have yet to know the ending.

Having the students guess who wrote each letter provides additional bonus of fun.  Enjoy this assignment with your students!

Write while the heat is in you.  ~ Henry David Thoreau