Summer Stories July 08 2009

Summer StoriesOne of my favorite First Day of School activities is the piece of writing entitled "What I Did Over Summer Vacation." It gives a good baseline of each child's comfort and skill level regarding writing, and lends itself to comparison as the year progresses.

But it's boring. And nonspecific.

I'm a scrapbooker, so I take my loads of photos and arrange them into layouts that are essentially stories. The pictures inspire me or jog my memory as to what was happening at the time, and I write a small piece of journaling to accompany the picture. The events don't have to be happy, either - last year's long-weekend camping trip lasted one night when rain started to pummel us...all night, and the next day...

Wouldn't it be more fun for students to bring in photos of a specific event from the summer break and write about that instead? For younger children, one photo could be enough to inspire some sentences. For older students, maybe four to six photos to show a sequence that could result in a paragraph or two.

As you enjoy the peak of the summer break, pay attention to the pictures you take and choose a few to bring in to that first day - the kids will love to hear what you did on your summer vacation!