Is there anything more fun than getting a letter in the mail from a friend? In this world of quick text messages and social media posts, a note written on paper and dropped in the mail can brighten the day of both the sender and the recipient.
In Just Sayin’, the main character Cassie isn’t allowed to use a cell phone. That means that when her friend Nick moves away, the only way she can communicate with him is through letters. Just Sayin’ is an epistolary novel, which means it is told entirely through letters written by the book characters. As Cassie and Nick write their letters, they start to understand that words can hurt and heal those around them. They also learn that writing and receiving letters is a really fun way to communicate!
Letter writing is a great way to teach kids to think about others, but the thought of sitting down and looking at a blank page can be intimidating. To make letter writing a little easier, we created some cool printable stationery for kids! The stationery has blanks to guide your child through the proper formatting of a letter. Encourage your kids to show their creativity as they write their letter. Use the stationery as a jumping off point, but allow them to play with the format as they write!
From the Desk Of: This is for their name, of course! They might want to put their full name for a more formal effect, or perhaps they want to put a nick name, or even a made-up name!
Date: Write the date the letter is written, or maybe they could write the occasion. It could be March 15 or “My Birthday.”
Location: The location could be their address, or maybe “my house,” “Planet Earth,” or “by the lake.”
Dear _____ : This is where they write the name of the recipient. It could be the recipient’s real name or a fun nickname.
The Body of the Letter: This is where your kids can really let their imagination run wild, but it can also be challenging to think of something to write to fill up all that space. Try these prompts with your kids! Remind them that the letter should be about both them and the person who will receive the letter. They can tell the recipient about their own lives, but don’t forget to ask questions!
1. I think the tastiest food is _____. The best place to eat this food is _____ with ______. What is your favorite food?
2. My favorite place to go is _____. To get there, I have to ______. When I am there, I love to ______. Where is your favorite place to travel to?
3. The best present I ever got was _______. ______ gave it to me. I love to use it to _____. What is your favorite gift you’ve ever received?
4. My favorite subject in school is _______. I like it because I learn about _______. What is your favorite subject?
5. When I grow up, I want to be a _______. I think this is a good job for me because _______. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Sincerely, _____ : “Sincerely” means “honestly.” To sign your name to a letter means that you meant everything you said! Encourage them to use their own special signature that is unique to them. Maybe that means they use cursive, or maybe they dot their Is with hearts or stars!
P.S.: P.S. stands for “postscript” which means “after the rest of the letter.” This is where they can write an additional note to their friends. Some great examples of postscripts are…
Oh, I forgot to tell you…
I can’t wait to see you next time we…
Don’t forget to…
I will pray for you when you…
Good luck on…
Just Sayin’ by Dandi Daley Mackall
Just Sayin’ tells the story of an almost-blended family that almost falls apart before it even begins. 11 year-old Cassie Callahan is staying with her grandmother while her mom, Jennifer, recovers from a difficult breakup from her fiancé, Trent. Cassie, along with Trent’s kids, Nick and Julie, are trying to figure out why their parents’ relationship ended so abruptly and searching for a way to bring them back together. Meanwhile, the kids get caught up in a game show that encourages the “art” of insults, and learn along the way that our words have much more power than they think.
In a way that only Dandi can accomplish, this story weaves together, in a contemporary way, an old-time game show, letter writing, outstanding vocabulary, and reminders from God’s word that taming our tongue is both difficult and important!