Thursday, February 20, 2020

High School (9-12) Time Capsule Project Recommendations

Once you have studied the history and achievements of active School Time Capsule Projects and decided to start one for your school, the goals to be achieved are the following:
1) Introduce it to your students and prepare for the first writing lesson.  Remember, each set of letters require two class periods, one to write letters to each parent and relative the student wants letters back from and the second after having received these letters to put them into one self-addressed envelope.  Then the student writes a letter to themselves reflecting on letters received and planning and updating their plans for their own future.  (At home students could write letters to as many relatives as they want, anywhere in the world, using any language necessary.  They mail them.)  They write separate letters to each individual as everyone has a different family history with a different set of stories to write about.

2) Introduce this project to parents every chance you get. Let them know that the goal is to help students know their roots and develop their plans for the future, a process that never ends.  These will be documents that will help their child start a better awareness of how to plan for the future.

3) From the very start begin to recruit School Time Capsule Project Postmasters. They will be volunteers who help this project year to year in each classroom.  They sort letters from the previous year so that they can be handed out to the students each year before the next round of letter writing.  It is recommended they be allowed to hand out the letters as a form of reinforcement.  If they do not enjoy seeing the positive responses of the students in getting their year old letters back, they may not be the right folks for the job.

Here is one recommendation for directions for 9th through 12th grade students for the first Time Capsule Project writing lesson:

What are your dreams for me?
Directions for the first Time Capsule Project letter
High School Students 2-20-20

Write a letter to each of the most important adults in your life. Write to each parent, grandparent, guardian or other relative separately. You may also write to school staff you may be close to.  Write to adults from whom you would like a letter describing their dreams for you and their separate histories.   

You may write your letters in any language. 

You will be writing such letters each year.  You change a lot in a year.  You will write letters to the adults observing your changes.  They will describe how their dreams for you have changed as you change.

Ask them to each include one story from your family’s history in their letter. It can be a story about themselves or any relative.  It should be a story they consider valuable. It should be a story they want you to pass on to your child someday.   

When your parents and/or relatives finish their letter, read it with them. Ask them questions so you understand it.  The goal is for you to understand the letter. 

Bring all the letters you have received to your Language Arts Class. Do this on the day planned to write a letter to yourself. On that day your teacher will give you an envelope. It will hold all the letters you have received. Place your name and address on this envelope along with your cell phone number and email address. You will then write a letter to yourself about your own plans for the future.

You will also place the letter you write into your self-addressed envelope.  You will place that envelope into the School Time-Capsule.  This will happen each year until you graduate. 

Every year you will receive back this envelope with your letters. The only differences will be in the 12th grade. That year you will write a letter planning your life 10-years into the future.  Your senior year the relatives writing to you will also describe their dreams for you 10-years into the future. Your senior year letters will remain inside the school time capsule for 10 years. 

On that 10-year envelope include another relatives address and phone number, someone who you believe will not move, someone who may be able to help locate you in 10 years. 

In 10 years your class will have your first 10-year class reunion. At that reunion you will receive these envelopes back. School staff will invite you to speak with the then current students in your former high school, possibly on Career Day.  You will give your recommendations for success to them. You will describe life after high school.  You will give the recommendations you wish you had received. You can also talk about the recommendations you may have received and now regret not having followed.

But for now, plan the future you want. Describe how you will achieve it.

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