Writing a thank you letter

Home learning focus

Learn how to write a letter.

This lesson includes:

  • one audio clip

  • one video

  • three activities

Learn

When writing, its important to use the right tone to suit who you're writing for and your reason for writing. This can be either formal or informal.A thank you letter can be either depending on who you're writing to. If you're writing a letter to someone you don't know then you will use formal language, if you're writing to a friend or family member then you will use informal language.

Enjoy listening to this entertaining story based around a series of letters between Little Red Riding Hood and Mr Wolf.

Can you spot who is writing their letters formally and who is writing informally?

Listen to this series of letters between Little Red Riding Hood and Mr Wolf.

Watch this video to learn about the key features of a formal letter.

Learn how to write a formal letter.

When writing a formal letter there's a few key things to remember. The list below will help you get started!

Key features of a formal thank you letter

Layout - including address and date

  • Your address should be written in the top-right corner of the page.
  • The date should be written below your address.
  • Below the date on the left hand side of the page, write the recipients address.

Who are you writing to?

  • If you do know the person; use their name, eg Dear Ms M Coles.
  • If you don’t know the person/people then use Dear Sir/Madam.
  • Remember, add a comma after.

Beginning the letter Your opening sentence should get to the point and clearly state why you are writing:

  • I am writing to say thank you for ...
  • I write to share my gratitude for...

Tone (the way the letter sounds)

  • In a thank you letter, finding the correct tone can be tricky.
  • The aim is to sound ‘business like’ whilst also being warm and friendly.
  • Avoid using too much language that seems casual or chatty.

Paragraphs

  • Include all the relevant details of why you are thankful.
  • Make sure that each point you make has a separate paragraph.

Closing statement

  • Restate the main point of your letter.
  • Make sure that you provide an action for the reader; eg keep smiling and take care.

Ending your letter

  • Use yours sincerely if you do know the person.
  • Use yours faithfully if you don’t know the person.

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Test your knowledge of the features of a formal letter by completing this quiz.

Activity 2

Write your very own thank you letter to our wonderful Healthcare Heroes. Good luck!

Remember to use the correct features of a thank you letter.

Top tip!

  • Make a plan for your letter before you write.

  • Remember, checking your work and redrafting is part of the writing process. Don’t be scared to make mistakes!

Super challenge

Think back to the other lessons from this week. In your letter, can you include:

  • Figurative language including hyperbole, similes and metaphors.
  • A sentence including a semicolon.

Activity 3

Do you fancy another challenge?

Have a look at the brilliant stories featured on this Newsround video.

Write a letter to one of the individuals (or groups) featured on the video to congratulate them on their incredible efforts!

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about writing a thank you letter.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you to understand more about writing:

There's more to learn

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Newsround
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