My Best Vacation Day


Project Summary
This writing exchange first took place between students in southern California and students in Quebec, Canada. Students from each class compared and contrasted how they chose to spend their vacation days. One benefit of this project was that students, themselves, were forced to reflect on the activities that make up their day. Through a class discussion, students learned of various types of recreational opportunities that existed in their city, that they had not been aware of beforehand.

Students are usually excited after an extended vacation. This project gave them the opportunity to release some of those feelings and make a more natural transition back into academics.

If a student insists that they had no "best" days during their vacation, give him/her the option of fantasizing, and writing about what a perfect day for them would be like, rather than an actual day that took place. Stress the importance of including the right balance of details and information to make their narrative interesting, but not so many details that the reader is bored.

Suggested Grade Level and Audience
3rd-12th (This works best when students of the same age exchange descriptions)

Estimated Time Required
2 weeks

Student Learning Objectives

  • To communicate knowledge and information to others
  • To describe events with a good balance of details
  • To learn about the activities other students prefer doing in their leisure time
  • To become aware of the recreational activities that exist in nearby places
  • To reflect on the activities that make up one's day
  • To release some of the feelings associated with vacations in a constructive manner
  • To practice writing, editing, and revising
  • To reinforce word processing skills
  • To communicate with a distant audience
  • To engage in electronic transfer of information

Writing Prompt

Do students from all over like to do the same things on their vacations? Let's find out! Your assignment is to tell about how you spent the BEST day of your vacation. The best vacation descriptions will be selected and exchanged with a distant class.

  1. Other students will be reading these, so be sure to mention the things about which you think they would be interested in hearing.

  2. Give enough DETAILS to make your description interesting, but not so many that it becomes boring to read.

  3. START from the time you woke up, and continue on until the time you went to sleep.

  4. If you prefer, you may fantasize and write about what a perfect day for you would be like, instead of an actual day that took place.

  5. Be sure to follow the format in the example provided below.

Student Sample: My Best Vacation Day

(10:00 AM) I finally decided to wake up. I got to sleep in today, because there was NO SCHOOL.

(10:30 AM) I ate my favorite breakfast of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch Cereal. Plus, I had 2 glasses of chocolate milk. I watched cartoons while I was eating. I also read the comics from the morning paper. My favorite was Calvin and Hobbs.

(11:00 AM) My friend called and we made plans to try out our new skateboards. He came over and we skated down to the bus stop. We took the bus down to the beach, where we met a bunch of other kids.

(11:30-1:00 PM) I hung out at the beach with Eric, Jennifer, Roger, Rio, Celeste, and Rod. We ate some rolled tacos, because Rio had some money. We decided to see if there was anything happening at the Mall. So, we waited for the next bus that was going in that direction. It took about 20 minutes before it came.

(1:30-3:30) The Mall was really happening. Everyone was there. We played video games for a while and checked out some of the stores. There were some really weird looking lizards in the pet store.

(3:30-5:00 PM) We decided to catch a movie. We saw Airplane 9. It was pretty funny, but had some really dumb jokes.

(5:00-5:30 PM) We only had a half hour to hang out until the bus came. So we looked at the stuff in Spencer's (that's a cool store).

(6:00-6:30 PM) My mom said my friend Rio could eat dinner with us. We ordered out for pizza.

(6:30-7:30 PM) Rio and I played Nintendo. He got some new games for Christmas.

(7:30-8:30 PM) We went to the jacuzzi.

(8:30-11:00 PM) We went to a new teen dance club at the Del Mar Fair. It was pretty cool. There were lots of kids from all over. But, there was no trouble because there were also lots of security guards and bouncers.

(12:00-1:30 AM) My mother FINALLY let me go to the midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Show. They were playing it at this old movie theatre in Encinitas called the La Paloma. It was super cool! A few weird people came dressed as the characters.

(2:00 AM) I had a bowl of cereal for a snack and then I went to bed and I FELL ASLEEP!

That was my best vacation day!



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