I’ve written a lot about the importance of students writing for an “authentic audience” – in other words, someone else in addition to the teacher.

You can see those posts collected at The Best Places Where Students Can Write For An “Authentic Audience”  and at Do You Know Of Research Showing That Writing For An “Authentic Audience” Helps Students Feel Motivated?

Thanks to the International Literacy Association, I learned about another study that demonstrated the importance of this practice. In it, young students were asked to write to family members and receive ones in return.

Here’s an excerpt:


I’ve written about similar “pen pal” projects though, in the ones we’ve done, students in my classes have corresponded with students in other classes at our same school.