What do you think would be three good items to use for this specific writing prompt?
The writing prompt is:
Imagine that your student council has decided to prepare a time capsul for your high school class this year, to be opened at your 20th class reunion. All students in your class have been invited to make suggestions about what they think should be included. Write an essay to your student council suggesting three objects or documents that should be included and explaining why you think they are particularly significant.
I think that there are a variety of ways one could go on this. It depends on what you believe and what you think you can justify. If you wanted to select objects, think about objects that would represent a great deal about both you and your culture. Maybe an iPod or an mp3 player, or even a cell phone could constitute as items that would be able to give a future generation a very good idea about who you were and the objects that your culture deemed important. If you were to pick literature or documents that would go into the time capsule, perhaps being able to determine which books or writings could tell a story about your beliefs or those of your culture would also be effective.
I think this sort of essay, if it's going to be any good, will have to come from your own reflection on your values and on the time in which you live. What three physical things would you say most deserve inclusion in the time capsule? These items will be preserved for 20 years and, when revealed, will ideally cause people to reflect back on their own lives from that earlier period.
I'm just past the time when I would have had a 20th-year high school reunion, so let me think about what I might have liked to see in a time capsule. For one, I would have liked something that captured at least one of the humorous popular culture trends of the time, maybe a vinyl album of some (then hot, now forgotten) British new wave band with big hair. I also might have wanted to see something that captured an important political issue of the age, such as Ronald Reagan's so-called "Star Wars" plan for a missile defense shield (the Cold War hadn't yet ended, of course). Finally, I may have liked to see something of personal meaning to me but also of interest to others, such as a letter that I had written myself. I'm not sure about what, though. Maybe just educated guesses and jokes about who in my high school class would be doing what for a living some 20 years in the future.
This might be better as a discussion question, especially because most of us answering questions on here are a bit long in the tooth and therefore not necessarily in touch with what you guys feel is important. But in my view (from having observed high school students) I'd put the following in:
1. Cell phone. These things seem to be pretty central to the lives of a lot of teens. 20 years from now it might be interesting to see what features your phones had, etc.
2. ipod. Make sure there's music on it. That would show the technology and the kind of music that was popular.
3. This one's more from a teacher's perspective, but maybe a bunch of assignments from your various classes. That could let you guys look back at what you were being asked to learn and see if you remember any of it.