I just did letter writing with my students. I have trouble making this fun because it's requires a lot of instruction from me; they get bored listening. I let them choose a person to write their letter to. I had also thought about letting them choose a character from the book we're reading and have them write a letter to the character.
This summer at a conference, the presenter told us about a book that has addresses for celebrities. They had their students choose a celebrity to write to, and many of them responded with autographs and things like that. I just didn't have access to the book becaus I can't remember what it's called
Another first grade teacher and I teamed up our students to be pen pals. Our students write a letter to their pen pal in the other class once a week. We might make postcards, letters, or greeting cards. The students love this and they are so motivated to write.
This takes a lot of work on your part but kids really get into this. I have each of my 57 students write me a letter and tell me about them and they can ask me questions. Then I handwrite each one of them a letter back and ask them questions. They then respond to me.
It takes several hours but the questions that they ask are so funny.
eg: If you were a student now, who would be your favorite teacher?
When you were little and I know it might be hard to remember since it was so long ago, what was your favorite food?
I just love doing this and it teaches them how to love to write friendly letters and how to address envelopes. They even design their own stamp and glue it on.
This has worked for my 5th and 3rd graders. Maybe you could also have them write to the class pet or stuffed animal and then you write them back as if the pet/stuffed animal had answered it.
I have a great way to introduce letter-writing skills. I write an immaginary letter from the mud daubers on construction paper (they are insects that build nests in our class, and the kids always freak out over them flying everywhere) telling the class to calm down when they are in the room, that they are just trying to learn about what Miss X (me) is teaching them, etc. Then I cut the letter into the five parts, like a puzzle. We all sit on the floor and I tell them about these pieces I found, we put it together, and I go over the parts of a letter. Then I glue the pieces onto a large piece of tagboard with the parts labeled to hang in the room for reference. I re-enforce the skills every day in my morning message to the class.
The kids think it's silly, but cute. My favorite year was when we had a roach problem in our bathroom, and the roaches wrote a letter -- they were outraged that the kids kept bothering them in their home. One of my friends has a classroom cat, and she had the cat "type" a letter on the computer. The kids absolutely believed that the cat had typed a letter!
With my students I have had each student bring a self addressed envelope to someone they want to send a letter to (grandparent, aunt, uncle or even mom and dad) Then each child "writes" to that person and we mail them.
This creates a purpose to the writing process and the kids love it.
In our first grade classes we always read a book that was letters back and forth to Santa from a child, I can't remember the title very well. Then we had the students write a letter to Santa Claus and is had to include questions as well. Then, we paired up with one of our middle school English teachers and her students wrote back to our kids. The kids thought it was great fun and both sets of students really benefit from it.
Have you read the book The Jolly Postman? It's a cute story with letters to/from fairy tale characters in the envelopes (pockets on pages) to help tell the story. When I taught younger kids, we used this as a model to write our own stories. We stapled several envelopes together to make the pages, wrote on the front, and put our letters in the pockets. They really loved this. You could even group students to make 1 book for each group.