Age: Key Stage 2 – early Key Stage 3
Time: 50 minute lesson
Write to your younger self
Ever thought ‘I wish I’d known that before I started’? In this lesson, children think about what they’ve learned about life at school and write a letter full of sage advice to their younger selves.
- Pens and pencils
1) Class discussion of advice
Put the question up on the board: ‘Help! It’s my first day at school! What advice can you give me?’
Get some suggestions from the group and put them on the board. If they’re getting stuck, get them to make a list of what might worry a child? Or what things are different at school after being at home or a playgroup?
If children feel confident enough, they could contribute things they were personally worried about or that they noticed when they started school.
2) Drafting a letter
Once the class are buzzing with ideas, start them drafting their letters. Try this structure to help them organise their thoughts:
- What worried them when they started primary school?
- What could they have done about their worries?
- Is there any other advice they need to know?
- To finish on a good note: what are some good things they have to look forward to at school?
You could adapt this depending on the year group – what advice would your class give to someone starting secondary school? Or what about a survival guide to the SATS?
Some children might want to write their letter to a younger friend or relative. Or you could plan to share the letters with younger children in the school.
Another option would be to create an ‘agony aunt’-style letter for the group with specific details to reply to.
Combine this lesson with a session where children write to their older selves.