This week, students in Abigail Jones’s class at Dempsey Middle School constructed time capsules and wrote letters to themselves that will be read in six years.
Jones, an English/language arts teacher, said Wednesday that the project has symmetry with the first assignment she had students do in her class.
“I thought time capsules would be fun because I start the year with them writing a letter to me and then to end the year they are writing a letter to their future selves,” Jones said. “I thought since they’re halfway done through school, it would be really cool if they open these time capsules in six years when they’re seniors.”
Jones said the time capsules will include letters, a class picture, each student’s choice of personal items, and an orange and black bracelet she made for them.
“I made one for (all 103) students,” she said. “That way when they walk (at graduation), we’re all still connected from sixth grade, and they have something orange and black to wear out on the field.”
Jones said the project was supported by members of the community who donated time capsule materials and supplies.
“That was really, really cool,” she said. “Just the fact that parents and community members really rallied around us and helped us fund this project … that was huge, and a great reminder of how wonderful the Delaware Community is.”
Jones said she hopes students will be pleased when they open the letters in 2029.
“Middle school is really hard for everybody,” she said. “My one requirement for the project was that they had to write about positive memories or experiences that they had from sixth grade because when they’re excited to graduate and they’re thinking about their time in Delaware, I want them to remember all the good things that happened in their life and remember some of the things they cared about growing up and being able to celebrate what their life was like in Delaware. I want them to have something to look back on and say, ‘I remember that,’ and have a positive association with middle school and Dempsey.”
Sixth grader Mahala Mickes said she enjoyed the project and its customizable nature.
“You have a lot of choices. It’s very creative,” Mahala said. “I like doing hands-on projects. I like projects where you can make something.”
Mahala said she included some events from her school year in her letter, and she also asked her future self questions about life and school.
Fellow sixth grader Ada Crowley said she thought the project was a good conclusion to sixth grade.
“It’s really fun, and a great way to end the school year,” Ada said. “It’s still (English class) but bringing more fun into it.”
Ada said she wrote about field trips, fun activities, and “things that are memorable.”
“(I didn’t write) ‘I ate a piece of pizza,’” Ada joked. “It’s fun to design a time capsule.”
Jones said students seemed to enjoy the project, and she got a lot out of it as well.
“It’s been a really fun project,” Jones said. “I’ve seen some cool creations. Even at the end of the year I feel like I’ve gotten to know all of them better from reading their letters.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.