Letter to Myself

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Summary

Students write letters to themselves (or others) on their final day at IslandWood citing what they learned and what they will “bring home” from their experience.

Introduction:

Do you think you've changed since you came here? Will it be weird returning home today? Your family will expect the same old you and yet you'll have had this amazing experience without them. Be patient with them when you get there! Now, I'm going to give you a chance to send a letter to that person you've gotten to know a little better this week: YOU. You're all going to write a letter to your future self, the you of one month from now. This may seem a bit odd, but I guarantee that you'll be psyched to hear from yourself, when it gets to you! Now, be sure to impress that person with your profound reflections and terrific memories of your IslandWood time! Remember to respect others' need to think and keep quiet until the time is up!     

Alternatively, ''you may also want to ask your students to write letters home to their family and friends or to future Islandwood students. You could also ask students to write letters to an animal they encountered, a plant they learned about or tasted, etc. 


 

Venue/s: Any quiet, comfortable space

Materials: Paper, pens or pencils, template

Time: 20 minutes (longer for older participants)

Set up: None

The Activity:

Students write a letter to themselves of the future (or others) describing three things about the trip (as indicated by the instructor). These may include a goal they have for themselves, to help reduce their own ecological footprint, what they learned about their ecological footprint, a funny story that happened while here, a favorite memory, or a new person they want to remember. The instructor then collects the letters, sealed somehow, preferably, and then gives them to the classroom teachers or IslandWood liaison to distribute in a month. 

Conclusion

  • Does anyone want to share any goals or memories with the group?
  • What do you think you'll be doing when you receive this letter back?
  • Will you be any different or doing anything differently from the way you were before coming to IslandWood?

Assessment

Make it clear in advance that you would like to read the letters, but tell kids to write DO NOT READ on the outside if they want you to respect their privacy. 

Assuming that the student gives you the OK to read their letter, the Instructor should be looking for descriptions of and reflections on experiences, as well as evidence of future intentions to take back and apply new knowledge, understandings and skills from Islandwood back to their home community.