Committee for Children Blog

Middle School Year-End Reflection: Summer Letter

Our research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum—Second Step Middle School—offers a top-to-bottom, interactive, online experience for teachers and students. With a year’s worth of grade-specific sequential lessons, teachers help students learn social-emotional skills and apply them to real-life scenarios.

In the final Second Step Middle School lessons of the year, teachers are prompted to discuss different topics for each grade, all of which are based on the idea of reflecting on what students are grateful for, what skills they’ve learned, what challenges they anticipate, and who they could go to for help when they start high school. Use this simple activity—adapted from a Second Step advisory activity—to help students write a letter to their future selves and prepare for the school year to come.

Middle School Class Activity: Summer Letter


Reflect on what you’ve learned by writing a letter to your future self


  • Paper and a writing utensil for each student
  • 1 envelope for each student


10 minutes


Present the activity: It’s easy to let a whole year go by and never take the time to reflect on what you’ve learned—and I’m not just talking about what you studied in school. Today you’re going to think about some of the things you learned over the past year, both in and out of school, and write a letter to your future self as a reminder.


  1. Think of three to five things you’ve learned this year that you want to remember. They can be academic or social, and they don’t have to be things students learned in school.
  2. Now imagine yourself one year from now. You’re going to write a short letter to that future you. Make sure you describe the things you’ve learned this year and why you want to remember them.
  3. Have students write their names on envelopes and seal their letters inside.
  4. Collect the envelopes and return them to students next year. Or give them to parents for students to open at home next year (if the student is moving or changing schools, for instance).


Ask: How do you think the things you wrote in your letter will help you next year? Give students time to think, then call on them to tell the class their ideas.