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Future Me: Write a Letter to the Future

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required

Website: http://www.futureme.org/

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, student e-mail accounts

Activity Description

After teaching future tense (and/or future progressive) and letter/e-mail format, have students set goals for themselves for a particular point in time in the future (end of a school session, in a month, six months, a year, etc.) and write letters to their future selves (and/or to others) about their goals. The letters are posted on the site, which e-mails the letters to recipients on the future date chosen.

Preparation

  1. Plan a lesson about goal setting for use at the beginning of your course. Discuss with students why setting goals is important and how to set achievable goals.
  2. Make sure that the Web site is not blocked at your school site.
  3. Practice using the Web site yourself to predict student difficulties.
  4. Make sure that students have e-mail accounts that are activated. If not, help them set up free e-mail accounts at one of the free e-mail sites such as Yahoo , Google , Gaggle.net , or some other secure e-mail service.
  5. Print a copy of the activity "Me in the Future" (pdf - above) for each student.

How-To

  1. Discuss with students why setting goals is important and how to set achievable goals.
  2. Ask students to brainstorm goals and show them a sample letter. Use the document above, titled "Me in the Future" as a basis for a writing assignment where students write a letter to themselves about a goal they have.
  3. Collect students' letters and provide feedback on comprehensibility, format, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Have students revise their letters, as needed
  4. In a computer lab setting, have students open the Future Me site.
  5. Guide students on how to use the site by demonstrating on your computer and projecting it onto a screen.
  6. Students will type in their e-mail addresses, a subject line, and the body of their letters.
  7. They will then choose a “deliver on” date (up to the year 2061) and status (public or private).
  8. Optionally they can add a picture (from a Webcam or uploaded from your computer).
  9. Have them type in the letters in the anti-spam box and select “Send to the Future!”
  10. They will then receive an e-mail from the site asking for e-mail verification.
  11. They will receive their letter/e-mail on the date they designated on the site. If your class is still in session on the date students selected to receive their letters, you can have students read their letters again and reflect on/discuss the goals that they achieved and did not achieve and reformulate their goals that have not been completed to be more achievable.

Teacher Tips

  • Teach the value of goal setting and model how to set realistic goals that have a clear process for attainment.
  • Students need to use an e-mail account whose address they plan to keep active in the future. Future Me e-mails can be designated as private, so that only students can view their letters, or public but anonymous so that students’ letters will be published in the public letters section.
  • Students’ e-mail addresses are not shown, but both the body and the subject of the letter is shown in its entirety.
  • No registration is required unless users want to modify e-mail addresses, change status of letters, resend or delete old letters, or send letters to other people. Then registration is necessary.
  • The dates that letters are submitted and their contents cannot be edited, however. There is an app (iPhones, iPad) for the site available on iTunes .

More Ways

Instead of general life goals, students could write about their learning goals for the course.

Documents

Levels

  • Beginning High
  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced

Standards

Basic Communication

  • (0.1) Communicate in interpersonal interactions
  • (0.2) Communicate regarding personal information

Basic Communication

  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
  • (7.1) Identify or demonstrate effective skills and practices in accomplishing goals
  • (7.5) Understand aspects of and approaches to effective personal management
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.