Don’t be SO Tacky! Teaching Informal and Formal Language

Feb 12, 2014

Common Core has made us look at language skills in a different way. One new skill for second grade is teaching formal and informal language. I made some resources to help my students learn this skill using one of my favorite books-Tacky the Penguin.

I couldn’t think of any more perfect character to teach the difference between formal and informal language then Tacky. He is such a contrast to his very formal penguin friends that he’s the kids relate to him in such a fun way.

I start this little unit by the donning my favorite crazy Hawaiian shirt. I have a costume top hat and bow tie that I pick some students to wear. I asked them about the clothes and what kind of places I might wear these clothes. They can always come up with the funniest responses! 

Next, I introduce the vocabulary of formal and informal language and we make an anchor chart. 

We talk about the rules for formal and informal language as we fill in the chart.

They complete a formal and informal sort and then add an interactive page to their language arts notebooks. 

For a final project, students write letters in both formal and informal formats.

The kids love it and it really makes simple work of an abstract skill. 
I’ll post a pic of their letters when we get them all done and up on a bulletin board. YAY! 

I’ve put together a differentiated packet that’s available in my TpT store. It has the word sorts, copies of my chart, and independent practice and assessment differentiated for four levels. It also has templates for the letter writing extensions. Check it out!



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