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“My Day” Activity

In these difficult times, when we are practicing “social distancing” physically, it is important that we face our circumstances and how we’re feeling head-on and maintain social contact with our friends and relatives.

Language Arts, Current Events, Writing

Elementary, Middle and High School

30-60 minutes 

Paper, pencil, envelope, stamp, computer

To learn how to put thoughts and feelings into words on a page and to develop empathy by considering our feelings and the feelings of others during the current circumstances. 

Post a picture of your work to social media with the hashtag #fdractivities

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Historic Context:

Eleanor Roosevelt lived through challenging and historic times. The Great Depression and World War II caused a great deal of worry and uncertainty among the American people, not unlike what is going on right now. Mrs. Roosevelt had learned early in her life that facing your fears and challenges went a long way to helping you solve them. She also understood that by talking about them with others, you often find that you were not alone in what is bothering you.  

Mrs. Roosevelt wrote a daily newspaper column called “MY DAY.” In it she covered her daily activities and challenges and how she felt about them. You might think of her column as the world’s first blog!

People took great comfort in knowing that even the First Lady of the United States was experiencing many of the same fears and worries that they were.

Activity Steps/Procedures:

  1. Take a few minutes to think about what you are feeling about the events going on in your life, your community and the world. 
  2. After gathering your thoughts, spend about 3-5 minutes just free writing about what you think and how you feel. 
    1. How are you spending your time?
    2. What emotions are you feeling? 
    3. What do you think about what is going on?
    4. How do you think what is happening right now is changing you?
    5. When this is all over, what is the first thing you are going to do?
  3. Take your paper and pencil and put your thoughts and feelings into complete ideas and sentences. If you are having trouble doing so, you may just want to draw a picture that expresses how you are feeling.
  4. Now think about someone you would want to share these thoughts with, it could be a trusted friend, or family member (grandparents might be especially happy to hear from you right now as many of them are feeling very isolated) and send them an email, text, or letter. Tell them you got the idea from Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day columns.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Of all the things you shared, why did you select to share the things you did?
  2. How do you think the person you are sending your “My Day” message to will feel when they read it?
  3. What do you hope they will feel? 
  4. What advice do you think Mrs. Roosevelt would be giving us in this current situation?
  5. How does sharing our thoughts and activities help us connect with people even if we can’t be with them?
  6. Is this an activity you might want to do for someone every week? (Mrs. Roosevelt did hers every day!)

A Step Beyond:

  1. Do this activity every day or so and save them in a book or file to create a record of how you got through this challenging time.
  2. Do a search for some of Mrs. Roosevelt’s original MY DAY columns to learn about what she was going through.