Monday, June 5, 2017

Time Capsules & Letter Writing

In Abuela’s Special Letters, the irrepressible Sofia Martinez decides that her whole family, including her cousins and grandmother, should make a time capsule.

 “Why?” Sofia’s youngest cousin asks.
“So we can have fun in the future by looking at our past,” Sofia explains.

Time capsules are a creative way for young writers to capture the present and dream about the future. Read Abuela’s Secret Letters from the Sofia Martinez series with your students. Discuss how each child in the story wrote a one word description of themselves. Sofia called herself “curious.” What word would your students choose to describe themselves and why?    

Ask your students to create a personal time capsule. This could be an end-of-the-year activity in which students reflect on the school year coming to a close and what they hope next year will bring. Time capsules are also a great way to start off in September with students writing down their predictions for the school year. Either way, ask you students to include answers to all or some of the following:

Favorite activity

Favorite food, song, color, TV show, game, etc.

Favorite School Subject

Favorite School Memory

Favorite Family Memory

Hopes for the Future

Three Personal Items & Why They Represent Who I Am Right Now

The Best Thing That Happened This Year

The Worst Thing That Happened This Year

What Makes Me Laugh

What Makes Me Cry

Places I Hope to See One Day

Time capsules can also be used to add writing to your social studies curriculum. Can your class make a time capsule for a historical figure like Benjamin Franklin or George Washington Carver? Could they make a time capsule for the Jamestown colony or Plymouth Rock? Time capsules provide many opportunities for imaginative learning and writing. No time capsule is complete without letters explaining the purpose of the objects included and other background information. Time capsules are also a great discussion starter for why it is important to preserve history. Your students could do research on time capsules and report on their findings. What did city officials bury in the cornerstone of important buildings? Do you agree with their choices? What items would you choose to represent your city?

And once students have finished their time capsules, they will enjoy decorating them. Creative learning is so much fun!

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