Grades K-2
Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8

A Letter To Future Me

Invite students to write a letter to their future selves, reminding them to practice gratitude even during difficult times.

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will consider what gratitude means to them, who (or what) they are thankful for, and the importance of expressing their appreciation
  • Then, students will write a letter to their future selves, reminding them to practice gratitude even during difficult times

This activity supports the development of the following
social-emotional skills: social awareness and self-management.


Engage students in a discussion around gratitude. You might ask:

  • What does gratitude mean to you? Why do you think it’s important to practice this skill?
  • When was the last time you expressed gratitude for someone or something you were thankful for? How did you express your gratitude? How did this experience make you feel? 

Set a timer for 5 minutes, and ask students to make a list of people or things they are grateful for. They should write down as many ideas as possible. Then, ask students to narrow down their list to the top 2-3 people or things they are grateful for.

Ask students to write letters or postcards to themselves, reminding them of who (or what) they are grateful for. Students can also use Future Me or schedule an email in Google or Outlook to type an email to themselves, and then schedule it to send at various times throughout the year.

Alternatively, you can wait until a particularly challenging day in your class and then deliver the letters to remind students to show gratitude even when it is difficult.


Invite your students to write a letter to peers in your Empatico partner class, which expresses gratitude for them and offers them support and encouragement for navigating a particular challenge, or even just dealing with a difficult day.

Facilitate a live virtual exchange with your Empatico partner class so students can read their letters to each other, and share more about how they practice and express gratitude each day.


Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions: 

  • How do you feel when you read your letter?
  • How does practicing gratitude help us when we are experiencing a particularly difficult day? 
  • What did you discover about your classmates based on what they shared? What similarities did you notice between your responses?
  • Did their responses help you think of more things you are grateful for?

This activity was created in partnership with Kristin Harrington.

Did you finish this activity? We'd love your input.