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Caring for Others During COVID-19: Letters to a Friend

An At-Home Literacy Lesson PlanCrafted by BGCHarlem Literacy Specialist Kristin Richardson Jordan



It’s easy to feel scared and alone during this time of social distancing, but one of the things we can do is learn to strengthen and build our friendships.

It is especially important that we teach this to youth during this time. The following literacy activity allows students to think about their friendships and reach out to others by writing their own letters to a friend.

Start by taking a look at the two books for kids listed below and have a conversation using the follow-up discussion questions. Then, let your kids write a letter to a friend using the guidelines below. Materials: Blank paper, pen or pencil, internet access/YouTube

Addresses Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate an understanding of its characters, setting, or plot. (Common Core ELA - Literacy Standards)

STANDARD 7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats (New York State Education Department ELA learning standards)

DI.6-8.9 I know I am connected to other people and can relate to them even when we are different or when we disagree. (New York State Education Department ELA learning standards) (You may click here to print the lesson or the student may view the lesson online and write his/her answers on a separate piece of paper)


Caring for Others During COVID19: Letters to a Friend

Step 1: View the Readings of These Two Books

1. It Came in the Mail

Written by Ben Clanton, video by Storytime Online

2. The Bad Apple - A Tale of Friendship

Written by Edward Hemingway, video by PV Storytime

Discuss These Questions:

1. What did Liam get first in the mail? What did Liam wind up doing with all the stuff he got in the mail? What’s something you can send in the mail?

2. Mac is an Apple. What is Will? What did they do together as friends? How did Mac feel when Will was gone? Name a friend of yours who you are thinking about right now.

Step 2: Think About Your Friends - Send A Letter to A Friend

Instead of writing to your mailbox like Liam in the first story, write a letter to one of your friends! Tell your friend something you like about them and something you miss about them! Draw a picture to go along with your words. Do not forget to put the date, a greeting (in the example below, it is “Dear Sam”), and a closing (in the example below, it is “Love Your Friend, Ashley”).

For Ages 5-6: Write one sentence

Ages 7-8: Write three sentences

Ages 9 and Up: Write a paragraph that is 4-6 sentences (like the example below).


March 30th, 2020

Dear Sam,

I really like how funny and kind you are. I miss playing with you at school. I wish we could see each other. I am thinking about you and missing you today, so I decided to write you a letter. How are you and what have you been doing? I have been watching Raising Deon on Netflix and reading books. I drew a picture of us playing in the park with Jonathan because that is our favorite thing to do. I look forward to seeing you again when school starts back up.

Love Your Friend,


Photo: Julia O'Connor, Age 6

Watch this clip to learn more about how to write a friendly letter.


Follow BGCHarlem social media channels for daily updates. Students we would love to see your work! Be sure to upload a picture of yourself with your completed lessons using the hashtag #BGCHarlem.  

View our additional 'Resources For Students & Parents for Dealing with COVID-19' HERE

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