Writing a Thank-You Letter


  • To use pictures and word-like symbols to communicate
  • To understand that words are used to communicate

Paper folded into note cards, envelopes

Literature Suggestion
Read A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman, or any other book that might inspire a thank-you note.

thank you

Discuss thank-you notes, their purpose, and why children might write one. Have them pretend they just received a birthday present. Then invite them to tell what they would say in a thank-you note for that gift.


  • Read the book and ask children to tell you who helped the main character. Ask what the character might say to the helper in a thank-you note. (For example, Corduroy might write to Lisa: "Thank you for the purple pocket. Thank you for the name to put inside my pocket.")
  • Make thank-you notes. Help children to think of people who have helped them or given them a gift. Then demonstrate how a card opens, with the fold on the left. Have children draw pictures on the front of each card. Suggest that the pictures might show how the person helped them. Have them dictate words they'd like you to write for them.
  • Help children write "Thank you" and sign their names on the inside of the cards.
  • Write To:_____________ and From:_____________ on the envelopes.
Show children other sorts of greeting cards, such as birthday cards, get well cards, and cards for new babies. At a center, provide letter-writing materials and encourage children to write more notes or dictate what they'd like to say in the notes. Include decoration materials such as stickers.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can tell the purpose of writing a thank-you note, comfortably makes a drawing, and scribbles a message and his or her name.
  • In Process - Child cannot explain the purpose of writing a thank-you note and/or has some difficulty making a drawing and scribbling a message.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet understand that writing can communicate ideas, and cannot yet draw or scribble easily.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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