How to Write Letters of Recommendation for Elementary Students

Panoramic photography of grey concrete 2-story house.jpg

Many elementary students need letters of recommendations to apply for upper-level schools, camps and activities for which there is an application process. A letter of recommendation is a useful and concise way of describing how a person excels. Teachers are often asked to write letters of recommendation on behalf of their students. Many people are weary of writing a letter of recommendation because they are concerned that they might not say the right things about the subject. However, writing a letter of recommendation for an elementary student is not difficult, as long as you know the subject of the letter and truly would recommend that person for the position in question.

1 Ask the student

Ask the student if there is a particular form on which you need to write the recommendation. Many programs, especially those for elementary students, ask that those who are recommending applicants answer questions on specific forms.

2 Discuss

Discuss with the student what she would like you to convey in the letter, if there is not a specific form for you to complete. Ask her questions about why she is interested in participating in the program or attending the school to which you are writing the letter. Ask her what excites her about the opportunity and why she think that it would be a good fit for her.

3 Begin the letter by addressing it to the recipient

Begin the letter by addressing it to the recipient. Ask the student to provide you with this information. If he does not know who will be reading the letter, you may write “To whom it may concern.”

4 Briefly introduce yourself

Briefly introduce yourself. Write your name and your position. Include how long you have known the subject of the letter and in what capacity. For example, if you are the student's fourth grade teacher who has known her for a year, you should indicate this.

5 Write the body of the letter

Write the body of the letter. Write several paragraphs about what impresses you about the applicant. Include a specific example of each positive attribute that you highlight. For example, if you think the applicant exhibits good leadership qualities, briefly describe a time he excelled in a leadership situation.

6 Discuss you

Discuss why you think that the subject of the letter is a good candidate for the program to which you are recommending him. This discussion can be anywhere from a few sentences to a few paragraphs. If you would like, incorporate some of the things that the subject said to you in his discussion with you about what attracts him to the program.

7 Sign your name

Sign your name. Indicate that you are available to discuss the applicant and expand upon your recommendation by telephone or email. Provide your contact information.

  • Type your letter rather than handwriting it.

Irene Finley began writing professionally in 2009, specializing in law, history, travel and cooking. She is a licensed attorney and holds a Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School.