Activity (35 mins)

Take 10 minutes to free-write a response to the following writing prompt. You don’t have to share the text of your free-write with the group - you’re just collecting your thoughts for the group discussion later. Feel free to handwrite your response or to open another Google Doc!

The following activity was adapted from Syd Thorne’s “Through Critique and Beyond: Speculative Fiction as a Tool of Critical Pedagogy” (2021). Master’s Projects and Capstones. 1288.

Writing Prompt: A Letter from the Distant Future

Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of an imaginary kin in the future. This person could be a relative or an unrelated character that seeks to reconnect with the past. This future may be hopeful, fearful, or a mixture of the two and can be as realistic or imaginative as the writer chooses. Think about the following questions as you write: Who? Who is the author of the letter? Imagine what name they are called, what they look like, how they dress, how old they are, and what kinds of interests they have.

When? How far in the future does this person live? Should be at least five generations or more.

Where? Where does this person live? Do they live on Earth or another planet? Another universe? What does it look like?

What? What has changed in the time in between your life and this person’s life? What does society look like? What kind of political/economic/cultural systems are in place? What kind of technology is available? What solutions have been used to address current or future problems?

Why? Why does this person want to reconnect with you? Is it to offer hope or to warn about a dangerous future? What questions would they have for you about how you live today?

Take 20 minutes to discuss your response to the prompt as a group. During your freewrite, what surprised you? Did any ideas, anxieties, or hopes arise that you didn’t expect?

Use the facilitator guide to write down ideas and observations from your discussion that you want to save for later.

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