As the school year begins to wind down, an end of year project (not graded) was the “Time capsule letter”. It became a reflective “end of year” task that my students enjoyed working on, as they wrote to their “future” selves in 4 years.
This idea was inspired by my (favorite) 4th grade teacher, Ms. Spangenberg. Students write a letter to themselves, in the target language, describing themselves, their families, their likes/dislikes, their friends, favorite things, favorite moments (really anything!) from their 8th grade year. Students first draft a letter in class, peer edit (if they would like to, since some students tend to be a bit more private with what they want to share) and later, type up/print their letter. Students are welcome to add in special pictures or “artifacts” from their 8th grade year. They bring in a self-address envelope with a forever stamp on it, ready to be mailed in the future.
Now, the exciting part! As their 8th grade Spanish teacher, I promised my students that at the end of their final year in high school, I would mail their letters to them. I stored them in a large manila envelope in my old classroom. My fingers are crossed that not too many of my former students have moved but I will have to wait & see. The first group of letters that I collected will be going out in a few weeks and since I am no longer in my former school district, I will be sure to include my @srtanrodriguez Twitter name, in case they want to reach out to me to say Hola! I hope they will share with me what they plan to do after high school and all of the wonderful accomplishments throughout their time in high school.
I hope that these letters will remind my former students of all of the fun they (and we) had in learning & studying Spanish. I also am hopeful that their Spanish has improved or they may be pleasantly surprised at how well they were writing in Spanish at the end of their 8th grade year.