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Here is an UGLY gift thank you letter assignment
Computers & Internet, Language Arts, Art
6, 5, 4
Title – The Ugly Gift Thank You Letter
By – Cora German
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Art, Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 4-6
Everyone has received a gift he or she thought was UGLY or just plain USELESS.
This is a great lesson for Christmas or at any gift giving time because it reminds students about the spirit of giving, and also reminds them to be grateful for the giver of gifts no matter how UGLY or USELESS the gift happens to be.
First, students draw names of class members who will receive the UGLY gift. The gift must be inexpensive, and UGLY. Usually, students can find something at a Dollar Store, or something they might have received that is perfect for “re-gifting”. It can be something that they “mutilate” in some way. It can also be something that they make. It cannot, however, be a cruel or demeaning gift. I offer suggestions and show examples of UGLY gifts so students get the idea. The gift should be wrapped in the prettiest paper with a bow, with the receiving student’s name on the gift.
I buy extra UGLY gifts and wrap them so that everyone gets one in case students are absent or forget to bring a gift on the day of the exchange.
Then, the day of the exchange is special. I usually play Christmas music and have candy canes or cookies, etc. to create a party atmosphere.
Culminating Activity: After the “gifting,” students are prompted to write a THANK YOU letter for the UGLY gift. Middle and High School students are required to type the letter since they have access to a computer in school, at the library, or at home. They have to use the format for a friendly letter. They must mention the gift in the letter and how they intend to use it. Again, they must show appreciation for the gift. They have to be creative in explaining their use for a USELESS gift.
I’ve used this gift exchange idea and the culminating activity with students in grades four through twelve and they really get a kick out of it. I do it at Christmastime, but it’s a lesson that can be used at any time of the year when a letter writing product is required.
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