Teaching Email Etiquette in the English Classroom: 5 Steps to Teach Email Etiquette

Teaching Email Etiquette in the English Classroom

If you are wondering if you should be teaching email etiquette to your students, read on! As a high school English teacher, there are so many different skills and concepts I want to teach my students. Not only do I want them to be well-versed in literature so they can pick up on allusions in pop culture, but I also want them to be able to write across a variety of mediums proficiently. One of the most important skills I can teach them though, is email etiquette.

I want them to improve their vocabulary and have a commanding understanding of how language works so that they can effectively communicate in the world.Teaching Email Etiquette in the English Classroom

And while I want them to be able to do all of this, I also understand that the vast majority of my students are not going to be literature or English majors in college. And with that said, when my students leave my classroom, I want to be able to provide them with enough guidance and instruction so that they will succeed in the world after they leave high school.

As a high school English teacher, I have the opportunity to provide my students with real-world writing instruction. In my classroom, that comes in the form of teaching email etiquette at the very beginning of the school year.

By teaching email etiquette to my high school English students at the beginning of the school year, I help my students be successful all year round.

5 Steps to Teaching Email Etiquette

Teaching Email Etiquette in the English ClassroomDirect Instruction

First, I use direct instruction strategies to teach about etiquette and email etiquette. I explain to my students what etiquette is, why it is essential to follow etiquette, and I also explain how in many cases an email might be the first impression.

Bad Examples

After a quick mini-lesson on email etiquette. I like to project some bad email examples on the board. I have my students read the emails and then volunteer to correct just one change about the email. Usually, each email has several. From no subject line to no greeting to improper grammar to being downright rude to a teacher, this is one of my favorite parts of the lesson. My students typically have a fun time with this part of the lesson as well.

Craft a Terrible Email

All too often, teachers tell students what not to do. Why not let them show us what not to do? Once students have seen some poor email example, I like to challenge them to work in small groups to write the worst email ever. I want them breaking all of the email etiquette rules (while still maintaining school-appropriate content). I usually have my student groups share their emails and explain why they are so terrible. It is also fun to have students vote on the winner of the worst email contest. To help students with this activity, it might be helpful to give them some sample topics to write about. Perhaps they can write asking for a letter of recommendation, or they could ask about an extension on their essay.Teaching Email Etiquette in the English Classroom

Make Email Corrections

Now that your students have a solid foundation about proper email etiquette, it is time for them to make some revisions to emails that do not follow standard etiquette rules. In my Email Etiquette mini-unit, there are several different sample emails students can revise and correct to demonstrate their understanding of the concept.

Write an Email

Once students finish the small group and individual activities, it is time for students to write their emails. A great way to wrap up this mini-unit, especially if you teach it at the beginning of the school year, is to have students write you an email. You can ask them to share something about themselves or to share their goals for the school year, or something along those lines.

Once I started teaching email etiquette to my students at the beginning of the school year, my email inbox is much more pleasant. You will appreciate your students’ new skill and other teachers will, too!

Ready to Begin Teaching Email Etiquette?

One of the best ways to help students succeed both in and out of a school setting is by teaching this email etiquette unit. By teaching students how to write an email, they will know how to write an email to a teacher, boss, or superior. Email etiquette is an essential skill that students need to know, and after teaching this email etiquette unit, you’ll receive much more pleasant emails. You and your students will love these email etiquette activities in this unit!

This digital and print email etiquette unit includes an instructional presentation and various email etiquette activities to help your students learn the art of proper email communication.

Teaching Email EtiquetteHere is what teachers are saying:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Extremely Satisfied

“I‘ve taught email etiquette with my students in practical writing for 3 years now, and always struggled with creating/finding resources that worked well & kept them engaged (my group is mostly non-college bound seniors & juniors). This resource was able to do both and the digital resources fit well into my existing material. I’m really looking forward to being able to incorporate more of this into my unit in the future, this year I was only able to utilize some of the digital activities due to time and finding this resource mid-unit, but next year I am planning on incorporating more of this into my teaching.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Extremely Satisfied

I use this resource at the beginning of each semester as part of our “back to school” work. (We have block scheduling at my school). It’s a fantastic way to let students know the appropriate and acceptable way to email their instructors. I like that it is no prep for me.”

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Extremely Satisfied

A must have lesson for students of all ages. Students are so used to texting friends and often use that same type of language and structure in emails to teachers and others. This was a complete resource on teaching students how to write a professional email and it was an engaging unit as well. My students were thankful for the direct instruction.”

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