Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summer Vacation Writing and Art Project

Every year I have the kids do a writing project telling the class about what fun things they did on their summer vacation. I know, very original right?




Summer Vacation Writing and Watermelon Art Project
 I bring in a watermelon and we cut it up and eat it (after estimating the seeds in one piece and the seeds in the whole thing).

I do cut up several shades of green for the "rind" to look real.
                                                        
 And we save and dry out those seeds for a watermelon art project using red and green tissue paper and watered down glue. I just cut the tissue paper into 1 inch squares. The kids draw their own watermelon piece with pencil on white paper. Then we start gluing. The last step is gluing a few seeds (8 to 10) on each watermelon art project.
                                
A fun WATERMELON MATH printable I found at HERE at Everyday Teaching. It has estimating, weighing and measuring the size of watermelons and is a free printable. The kids love hearing what everybody else estimated for seeds. Somebody always estimates 1000 seeds.  :D I guess it could happen?

Another fun watermelon math can be done with these Free Watermelon Number Cards  from Feedthebrain.com.  I used them to have kids make the addends of 10 matching concentration game. Each child partnered up with a buddy and they layed their cards down face up. Then each took a turn finding a 9 and 1, or an 8 and 2, or a 7 and 3 etc. This is a great way for them to memorize the 10s math facts.


A CUTE song we sing along with all our watermelon activities is Down By the Bay with YOLY! A funny MAD LIB FOR SUMMER VACATIONS is HERE at Classroom Jr. com. My students LOVE mad libs and they can easily learn nouns from verbs and adjectives doing them. They love to hear each other's crazy creations.
Using Mad Libs for Writing and Schema or Background Knowledge
                                           How I Spent My Summer Vacation by: Mark Teague is one  I read to the kids to get them excited about writing about their own summer vacations! This gets us in the writing mood by doing a mad lib for a warm up writing activity. It helps them with ideas too.  I list VACATIONS, PARTIES, SWIMMING, HIKES, BBQ, FRIENDS, GAMES, SPORTS on the board. That helps with brainstorming more ideas. I also spell some of the fun places around town everybody goes to like Boondocks, Chuck E. Cheese and Disneyland.
Fun Places to Go With Kids....
                                    Then we write a sloppy copy. I edit it for them, and then they write a final copy to publish and share. It is written on watermelon shaped paper. They always turn out really looking great on a bulletin board. Here is ours. The paper I just used some clip art to make and cut and pasted it together with a boy and girl and typed "What I did on My Summer Vacation" across the top.
Our finished bulletin board.....Summer Vacation Writing and Watermelon Art
You can see the brainstorm we did underneath the watermelon art and writing. It was all the fun places we went during the summer. It was also great for kids to use it as a mini word wall and come up to copy the spelling of places they went as they were writing. I highly recommend using mini word banks during writing. Hope you all had a fun summer vacation! Now it's BACK TO SCHOOL!

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