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Age: Key Stage 2-3

Time: 50-minute lesson

Writing Fanmail

Whether it’s a celebrity or someone closer to home, children can draw loads of inspiration from their heroes. This children gives them a chance to write fan letters explaining why their role models are so important to them.

1) My stars

Give the children 4-5 star shapes to cut out and stick into their books. In each star, the children should write the name or names of people who are important to the children – whether family, friends, teachers, community leaders or celebrities. They can add pictures or explanations of why those people are important to them.

2) Choose one ‘star’

When they’ve had a think of a number of people who are important to them, the children can now choose one who they will write a letter to.

The next step is to make a list of why they look up to this hero. Are there any particular memories they have? What was it that made them become a fan? What’s their favourite book or song or match etc.?

3) Drafting a letter

Once the group are brimming with ideas about what makes the hero special, they’re ready to start drafting a letter to them. Try this format:

  • Introduce yourself – include where you’re from. It would be nice for a celebrity to know they have fans from another part of the world, or to hear from someone from the same town.
  • Explain why they admire the celebrity – try and be as specific as possible.
  • Finish off with a friendly message for the person – perhaps wishing them luck for their next venture

Emphasise that children should not include identifiable personal information (address, phone number, social media handles) in their letters. If they want to provide a return address, they could give the school’s.

4) Writing and sending

Finding an address to send the fan letters to can take some research – depending on your group’s IT skills, this is something to try for themselves. It’s worth managing the children’s expectations; some celebrities (or their offices) are better than others at replying to fan letters.

To contact authors, go through their literary agents. For musicians and actors, see if there is a UK office of their agents or recording company. Letters to sports stars can be sent to their club. Prolific YouTubers often have a PO address for letters to be sent to – it’s worth checking their websites for information. Politicians should have a constituency address.

Related Activities

Why not combine this activity with our session on writing paeans (poetry of admiration).

Example

Hi Selena,

I’m Funmi from London, aged 11 and I love to sing, dance and write music like you do.

I am a big fan of your music. I love singing along to ‘Revival’, the chorus is so cheerful, it always puts me in a good mood. Your films are also amazing, because I always laugh when I see Ramona and Beezus with my sister.

Wishing you the best of luck for your future career. I can’t wait to hear your next songs!

From your biggest fan,

Funmi

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