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Write a Father's Day Letter

fathersday graphic

Return to Father Figures: Lessons to Honor Dear Old Dad!


  • Arts & Humanities
    Language Arts


3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students consider a father's responsibilities and write letters to their fathers or caregivers.



  • describe the responsibilities of fathers.
  • review the format for a friendly letter.
  • write letters to fathers, parents, or caregivers to express thanks.


Father's Day, composition, letter, essay, writing, dad, male, role model, hero

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

Fathers bear responsibilities beyond measure. In addition to providing support for their families, they often share the tough job of making decisions and rules that are sometimes not understood -- or popular -- with their children. However, activities such as this lesson can help kids see that sometimes what dad decides is for the best.

Because students come from varied situations, it is important to be sensitive to children who may not have a "father" at home. The letter assigned in this activity could easily be written to a mother or caregiver and be equally effective.

Begin this lesson with a discussion of the responsibilities of parents. Focus the students on the tasks that fathers may perform and list their suggestions as they brainstorm. These may include but are not limited to

  • working (making money)
  • buying groceries, clothing, house items
  • car and house maintenance and repair
  • managing money (paying bills, saving)
  • lawn care
  • pet care
  • housekeeping
  • caring for children
  • cooking

Now ask the students to consider what their fathers (or caregivers) do specifically for them. Distribute paper and pencils and have students note three important ways that their fathers care for them.

When they finish, share a story from your experience that describes a decision or rule made by a parent, why you didn't understand it when you were younger, and how you now do understand it. For example, you might explain that you weren't permitted to ride in friends' cars or attend a party with older kids and that you now know that those were not safe practices. Emphasize that you were too young and inexperienced to appreciate the good sense of the rule or decision at the time and why it was the right one. Describe how you recognize that your parent protected you from what could have been a harmful or an uncomfortable situation. Every person has similar revelations throughout childhood -- from not being allowed to cross the street alone to not being permitted to drive without an adult. Discuss some of the experiences your students have had with their parents, particularly their fathers.

Instruct your students to think for a few minutes about a good example of a decision or rule made by their fathers that at the time seemed unfair but now makes sense. Have them make notes about the experience on their paper.

Review the parts of a friendly letter with your students: heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature. You may use your school district's preferred format or the Friendly Letter Format as a guide. On a new sheet of paper, have the students write friendly letters to their fathers or caregivers. Each letter should include an introductory paragraph, a description of three important things the individual does to care for the student, a synopsis of the "memory" of a time when the student didn't understand a decision or rule and how he or she appreciates the logic of it today, and a final paragraph of personal thanks.


If time permits, have students read their letters aloud to the group. All acceptable responses will include an introductory paragraph, a description of three important actions performed by the father, a synopsis of a "memory," and a paragraph of thanks.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Cara Bafile

Return to Father Figures: Lessons to Honor Dear Old Dad!.


Originally published 06/07/2002
Last updated 06/01/2017