New Year 2023 Resolutions: Funny Letter, Critical Thinking, Handouts + 20 Videos

Rated 4.65 out of 5, based on 98 reviews
98 Ratings
Grade Levels
7th - 10th
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
Letter (5 pages), Critical Thinking Questions (4 pages), Goal Setting Package (4 pages)
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device.  Easel by TPT is free to use! Learn more.
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UPDATED Happy New Year's 2023 Resolutions independent writing packet.

Includes a FUNNY "anti-motivational" motivational letter for Middle School and High School students.

  • Is this a motivational letter? Or an anti-motivational letter?

  • Critical Thinking Reading Comprehension Questions (2 pages)

  • Point of View / Media Literacy Questions (2 pages)

Help students develop Social-Emotional Learning skills and adjust to a changing world. (4 pages)

  • Reflect on the challenges and successes from 2022.

  • Brainstorm things they want to try to do more of (and less of) in 2023.

  • Brainstorm the "why" behind their goals.

  • Write a paragraph. 

Want to see exactly what you get before you get this product?

  • (There is no preview PDF because it's a free product. Just download the resource to see what's inside!)

Here's what other teachers are saying about this New Year's 2023 Critical Thinking Letter so far...

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

"My students loved the letter! It was witty and sarcastic (perfect for middle schoolers!!!). I allowed my students to work in small groups to complete the discussion questions and then facilitated a large group discussion. The students were engaged the entire time. Thank you for providing this resource... and for FREE nonetheless!"

That Savvy Special Educator (TPT Seller) - January 6, 2023

7th Grade

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

This resource helped guide my first couple of days back at school since it was a short week.

Cheryl G. - January 5, 2023

10th Grade

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Extremely satisfied

This was a good resource but didn't really apply for my 6th graders.

Kristin N. - January 4, 2023

6th Grade

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Very satisfied

This was a cute way to get back into the swing of things!

Eva Enderle (TPT Seller) - January 4, 2023

6th Grade


I'm not charging for this best-selling product.

Instead, I'm asking you to help out by leaving an honest review.

  • What grade did you use this resource with?

  • Did you use the "anti-motivational" motivational letter? How did it go?

If you like this, you want to check out the free SEOT slideshow.

  • Life goes up and down. There's no simple solution to building resilience.

  • But learning how to "work smarter" might help us see how little steps can add up to success.

  • Little successes help to give us confidence so that when times are tough, we might be able to look back and say, well, I got through tough times before... maybe I can get through this too.

The PDF includes links to get the Google Docs / Slides / Easel by TpT files.

  • Print the NO PREP PDF version 

  • or, EDIT the Google Docs / Microsoft Word files. 

  • The online version lets students use Easel by TpT to fill in text boxes directly on the graphic organizer. 



  • Explain to students HOW to work smarter, and not just harder.


  • Twenty Goal-Setting video lessons. The links to the videos are provided on the first page of the PDF download. 

  • In the FREE Who is Invisible lesson, students analyze these videos to explore who they are while thinking about which groups of people are invisible. Perfect to kick off Black History Month in February.

Setting goals is easy. Achieving them requires work... (sorry!)

WARNING! NOT EVERYTHING WORKS FOR EVERYONE ALL OF THE TIME! This product may not fit your style or needs!

A teacher left behind some very valid feedback about an earlier version of this product (with a different welcome letter.)

(I've included it here in the product description below to help you make an informed decision about whether this resource is right for you.)

Please have a read to look at the concerns.

Please also look at the links below to see if these goal-setting resources fit your personal style and classroom needs:

  • There used to be a motivational letter to students where I talk about how much money I've made since I left teaching. (It's a real-world example of a goal I'm working on.) Although I've updated the letter to include more of the back story with mental health, you can see the original PDF here using this dropbox link.

If you have any questions about this product, feel free to email me at

Here is a very valid 3-star review from Tiffany (Sep 18, 2021):

  • "I think this could have been a good resource, but it was overwhelming to try to figure out where I should click, what I even had, and where to begin.

  • I was a bit put off by the "I've made x amount of money since I quit my job" message.

  • Aside from that, I tried the initial goal-setting lesson with three different classes, ranged from 6th-9th grade, and they all nearly rioted.

  • I probably won't continue with this resource."

And, here is my response to Tiffany (Sep 18, 2021):

  • Hi Tiffany, thank you for coming back to leave an honest review. I appreciate it - it will help other teachers who are considering this product, and it helps me try to figure out how to make this product easier to use.

  • You definitely raise several good points. I agree. It can be overwhelming with all of the different files. I am working to simplify the process, but the piece I'd love to hear more about is the part about the students nearly rioting. If you had to guess, what was it that turned off your class from buying into the idea?

  • The reason why I ask is that in my experience with doing entrepreneurial adventures with Grade 7 and 8 students, I found that the idea of making money was a powerful hook - whether it be online or in other ways. I had found that many of my disengaged (male) students were hooked by the idea of making money online - which is why I tried that angle in the introduction letter here.

  • Clearly, that angle failed with you and your students, so I apologize!

  • When you tried the initial goal-setting lesson, are you talking about the SMART goal-setting slideshow? I would love to hear more about why you thought your students didn't buy-in.

  • I fully appreciate that you are super busy. In exchange for your email thoughts, I would happy to send you a $10 TpT gift card which you can use anywhere on the TpT marketplace.

  • If you're interested in telling me more, please email me at I appreciate the review and I look forward to connecting with you if you are interested.

  • Cheers, Mike

Dec 13, 2022 UPDATE:

  • I was inspired by Tiffany's feedback that she tried the initial goal-setting lesson with three classes (6th-9th grade), and they all nearly rioted.

  • Clearly, I missed the mark. I couldn't relate to her students and where they were.

  • So, I tried to lean into that on page 3 of the new "anti-motivational" motivational letter.

  • There's no way to get a hold of Tiffany to see if this letter would work better with her demographic.

  • But, if you decide to use this letter with your students, I'd be very interested in the comments to hear how it goes.

If you have any questions about this product, feel free to email me at


..... ⭐ THU May 11, 2023 - Oops, you just missed a sale!

Should ChatGPT be allowed in schools? (or is this cheating?)

ARE YOU (or your students) BURNING OUT?

What do your students struggle with the most?

(PS - These are lifelong resources that you can use year after year.)

Option 1: Trying (when they've given up)

Option 2: Standing up for others (when things aren't fair)

Option 3: Working in groups (not the same as teamwork)

Option 4: Getting their point across (when upset and things matter)

Option 5: Coming up with ideas (instead of copying others)

Option 6: Thinking logically (and making informed decisions)


My name is Michael Fuchigami. I'm the teacher behind Educircles. 

  • I taught English Language Arts for 13+ years in middle school.

  • I want to help you SAVE HOURS of PREP because bathroom breaks are important!

⭐⭐⭐ Teachers around the world have DOWNLOADED 87,506 Educircles resources in over 42 countries!

  • THANK YOU to everyone who has purchased an Educircles product.

  • I donate 10% of everything I earn to STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH organizations. It's a promise I made to get through some dark times.

SAVE HOURS OF PREP (and money) with a bundle!

This is the TED talk that I will give one day. If you like this, then you will love my resources.

If you have any questions, please ask in the Q&A section or email

Total Pages
Letter (5 pages), Critical Thinking Questions (4 pages), Goal Setting Package (4 pages)
Answer Key
Not Included
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.


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