Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Multiple Industries

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Mike Morris

Letters of recommendation

Part of Unit: Employment Portfolio

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

Students will understand the importance of letters of recommendation, and how and who to ask for them. Many students ask teachers to write them a letter and by teaching them how to look at the job, look at themselves and see what qualities they possess they can write a stronger letter of recommendation. Many times the applicant knows more about themselves and the job than the person who is asked to write the letter. The student will send the letter electronically according to the specifitions of the teacher's letterhead.

Time required

1 Class Period


Objectives and Goals

  • Students will be able to do a self assessment and write a letter of recommendation about themselves.
  • Students will use full block style of letter writing with proper heading, salutations and closings.

Activities in this Lesson

  • During roll: Directions on board- Make a written list of 10 positive things about themselves in which the teacher would agree. Think about personal characteristics, classroom and on the job attributes (good things about you!) It could include, attendance, attitute, willingness to go the extra mile, etc.

    Instructor announces: What do you think an employer would think about you, as a person and as an employees after he/she reads a letter with these positive comments? Guess what, you are going to get a letter from me with all these comments for your portfolio. Students will need 3 letters of recommendations, one from their ROP site, one from a counselor, other teacher, neighbor,etc.  The third will be from you (the teacher). The students all get excited thinking you, the teacher will be writing the letter. But, then you announce the student will have to write the letter themselves, looking at their own strenghts and the truth!   They may use the list they made during roll. Teacher will only sign it if they agree with what ever the student writes, teacher will also only sign it if there are no errors (it has your name on it). Students must write it, and then send it electronically to you so you may read it and print it if it is appropriate. You then print it off on letterhead. Our letterhead is printed down the left hand side so students must send the letters with the proper margins.

    Resources and Materials

  • A letter of recommendation is a letter acknowleging your strenghts and skills. It is usually written by someone who knows you and what you can bring to the job. They are usually from past employers, teachers, coaches or other professional people that can attest to your skills and character. Sometimes these people do not have time or know how to write a letter and may tell you to write it yourself and they will sign it. If this is for a specific job, this is actually a good time to write your own letter as you probably know more about the job, what the employer needs and your own attributes than the person you have asked.  If it is for a general letter, you can still write a great letter. But remember the person will only sign if they agree to what you have written in the letter.

  • There are two types of letters of recommendation: a general letter which can be used for many jobs and one which is specific to the organization in which they are applying. The letters students will be writing will be of the generalized nature. Show power point. The following is information on power point.

    First paragragh will introduce the student, it generally starts with a sentence such as:

    It is with pleasure I write this letter of recommendation for__________

    I am happy to write this letter of recommendation for ____________

    As a teacher for ________County ROP, it is my pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for _________________.

    As the ROP teacher, I work closely with many students. I consider ______________ to be one of the most studious and responsible members of my class.
    This opening sentence is generaly followed with how long and in what capacity you have known the person. 
    He/She was a student in my _________________ class this past 2010-2011 school year.
    The second paragraph is where you share skills and attributes such as:
    great attendance
    team player
    positive attitidude
    great reviews from his/her job site supervisors
    going above and beyond expectations
    always willing to step up to a leadership role
    work is done in a timely, neat manner
    can always be counted on
    volunteers for extra projects
    high integrity/honesty
    The third paragraph is reiterating the recommendation and how to contact the teacher is case of questions.
    Again, I want to say how much I believe __________________ would do a great job at what ever position he/she sees fit to apply. If you have any further questions please feel free to call me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.
    Sign off with:
    Name of Teacher
    Position or title
    Name of organiztion
      Students may search the internet for other samples to word the letter.

    Resources and Materials

    • Template for Letter of Recommendation [ Download ] Template for Letter of Recommendation
  • Have students work in groups and come up with positive attributes and skills they have accomplished that would be good to use in a letter of recommendation.   You might have them work in three different groups, one group thinking about accomplishments on the job, second group- characteristics and accomplishments in the classroom and the third group- personal characteristics in which an employer might be looking.

    Students work in groups for a period of time you feel is sufficient, (maybe 15 minutes), they report back to the large group.

    Go to this web site for additional ideas after the groups have reported out. Here is a web site that might help. http://www.modot.org/jobs/employeeattributes.htm

    Students will make their own list of at least three of their top ideas from each of the three groups. They should have at least nine characteristics or accomplishments. The formative assessment is to have them make that list and hand it in or somehow share it with you. You could give more feed back at this time. Have students choose the appropriate skills for their letter.

    Students write a rough draft, students critique each others work (this is good so students may get stronger ideas for their paper).



Assessment Types:
Writing Samples, Demonstrations,

Formative assessment: List of strenghts that the student can use in the middle paragraph, this is done after the group activity for possible characterics.

Formative: Rough draft with peer reviews. Rough drafts may be hand written or typed, but must use proper formatting.


Summitive assessment: Letter of recommendation the student wrote and sent to you electronically, to be printed on letterhead. This will only be printed when there are no errors and the teacher agrees to the information in the letter.