Hello from the past!
Invite your child to write a letter to their future self—twenty years from now—describing their current life and community and expressing their hopes and dreams for their life and community in the future.
Here are some suggestions for prompts to get them writing:
- How old are you?
- What grade are you in?
- Where do you live?
- What is your community like?
- What are your hobbies?
- How do you contribute to your community?
- What is the best part of being in fourth grade? What is the worst part?
Describe what you think your future life will be:
- What kind of person do you hope you will be?
- Where will you live? Who will you live with?
- What kind of job(s) will you have?
- How will you contribute to your community?
- What is your outlook on the future?
Give your future self some advice:
- What does it mean to live a happy life?
- Why is it important to be part of your community?
- What do you want Future You to know if they chose a different path than the one you wrote about?
- What do you want Future You to know if they haven’t achieved all the things you hope for?
Be as creative as you want with this activity—your child can draw pictures, make a collage, or include photos. You can participate, too, by writing a letter to your child in the future describing what they were like at this age. Put your child’s work (and yours!) in an envelope and label it with the year it should be opened. Put the letter in a place you think you might look in twenty years, like with your important documents, the school papers you save for your child, or another safe place.
Even if it gets lost over the years, writing this letter benefits your child now by giving them the opportunity to apply what they are learning about community in social studies, reflect on the world around them, and write positively about themselves. They will also think about the person they want to become and consider how to grow into that person.