What Are The 5 Parts of a Friendly Letter?

I hardly ever receive letters in the mail anymore, but when I do it's very exciting!  There are still reasons to write and send letters or emails in this day and age such as invitations, thank you notes, or simply words of encouragement.  The best way to introduce letter writing is to first learn to identify the 5 parts of a friendly letter!


The date is the first important part of a friendly letter because it lets you know when the letter was written.  The date usually goes in the top left or right hand corner of your page.  Make sure to include a comma between the day and the year.


Next comes the greeting.  This is where you address the recipient of the letter.  The most  commonly used greeting is "Dear...", but using "To" or "Hello" or "My Darling" are also acceptable depending on the recipient's relationship to the writer.

When students are writing their greeting, teach them that after writing the words Dear and the recipient's name, they will need to use a comma.  This is proper form.


After the greeting comes the body of the friendly letter.  The body contains the main message.  It can be several paragraphs or pages long depending on what you want to say.  Students should carefully check the body of their letter to make sure they have included all relevant details and used proper punctuation.

If you are writing to someone you haven't seen in awhile, it is nice to ask them questions like "How are you doing?" or "What's new?" and then tell them about what's happening in your own life.

If students are just beginning writers, they don't need to include several paragraphs - just a simple message like this one:


The closing is how you end your letter.  Often, people have used the word Sincerely, but there are many other closing words as well.  You could use Love, From, Best Wishes, All the Best, Thank You, or Yours Truly.


The last part of the friendly letter is the signature.  It simply tells the receiver who the letter is from.  This is where you write your name.

Letter Writing Ideas

Now that your students have identified the 5 parts of a friendly letter, they can practice writing letters to friends, family members, the principal, Santa Claus, a political figure, or a famous person!

If you are reading a class novel, you may wish to have them write to the author, telling them about their favourite part of the book or asking questions.

Another fun activity you can try is writing letters to your students and having them respond.  You can get to know more about them by asking simple questions.

friendly letter writing activity

You may also want to give students a checklist so they can be sure that they've remembered to add each of the 5 parts!

writing checklist

Looking for a package to help teach the parts of a friendly letter?

Check out my Friendly Letter Writing Activities!

If your students are still learning to write paragraphs, you may also be interested in this blog post on Paragraph Writing.