Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vacation With Your Students in Mind

Vacation with my students in mind?  Isn't the whole point of a vacation to get away from work?  Yes.  It is.  But, do not forget that teaching is about more than just dusting off the text books at the end of the summer and cracking them open day one to get  down to preparing for the test.  Good teaching requires creativity, drive, purpose and so much more.  So, here are five of my top tips for what to do while on vacation so that you have some great materials when you sit down later to plan an amazing lesson that exposes your young minds to new places, people and experiences.

#1: Take lots of pictures.  

Pictures of plants and animals can be used in biology lessons, pictures of murals and architecture can be used in art classes, etc.  You know your content, so snap photos of any and everything that relates to what you teach.  You will end up with a wealth of free visual aids to use in the fall.

#2: Pick up free brochures at visitor centers.  

You can use these in the fall as professional models when you have them make brochures as a fun, yet educational project. You could also use brochures for students to read and find information.

#3: Pick up postcards.  

You can then use them to send notes home at the beginning of the year.  Make it fun.  Send out a note to your class week one and see if they can work together to figure out where you went and what you did there using the postcard clues!

#4: Get some stuff that you can't find at home.  

You don't need to spend a ton.  Pick flowers, collect rocks and sand, buy foods, etc.  When you get back and are spending time building community and transitioning from the summer break to the school year you can tell them about your trip.  Use the objects you collected to give them more of an experiential lesson.  Pass the objects around so that they can touch a piece of the place you visited, in addition to hearing you talk and looking at pictures.

#5: Pick up maps.  

They can be used later to teach geography, math, etc. You can also use your maps as models and have students make their own maps with a key.


  1. hmm...excellent point. I mean it is nice to get away and leave the school brain behind, but you're right. There are a lot of great resources at your fingertips. Definitely something to think about! Thanks :)

    Always A Lesson

    1. Thanks for your comments! I know it's not an easy thing to think about while you're on vacation but it can be useful.


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