|Sometimes I have parents who pop into my classroom and announce an impending trip. They need me to provide them with a packet of work for the student to do while on the plane, when there’s a few minutes of spare time, or to keep up the routine of practicing skills while on the trip.
I’ve found that the trip is usually pretty exciting, time gets away from everyone, and my carefully constructed packet of activities takes much more of my time to prepare than my student has time to complete while on the trip.
And, I wasn’t even invited!! 😉
What to do?
Depending on the age of the student you teach, you can consider
- creating simple math worksheets (with answer keys you might keep so they can check their work if they don’t have an adult or calculator to help while on the trip)
- having the student record and graph information like mileage travelled (line graph), miles per gallon(or liters per kilometer) for each tank of gas if it’s a car trip (bar graph), total money spent on daily activities (a pie chart of the different purchases)
- challenging the student to calculate tips for meals if tips are expected
- sending the book that’s being read in class with discussion questions you’ve already generated
- having the student write a short journal (with pictures especially for younger children) that summarizes each day or important highlights of the trip
- I like to buy postcards, cut out the pictures, glue them on the page and then tell a story around the picture to remind me of the location. Often you can get a postcard with several pictures of the location.
- having the student create a brief report about the location(s) being visited, food, lodging, interviews with locals, geography, or history
- asking the student to collect simple brochures for each location visited
- encouraging the student to share the journal, report, or brochures with classmates after the trip
When the child returns from the vacation, I’m happy to see her. If she was able to complete any of the materials I sent, hooray! If not, I hear great stories, welcome her back to class, and suggest she invite me the next time she takes a trip during the school year.
Do you have other suggestions for activities students can complete while on a vacation during the school year? I’d love to hear from you!!