Monday, August 8, 2016

Family Adventures on the Road

Vámonos! Let’s go! In her newest adventure, The Beach Trip, spunky 7-year-old Sofia Martinez packs for a beach trip. She doesn’t want to take clothes; she wants to take board games. And she doesn’t like the long car ride with her squabbling sisters. On top of all that, it rains on the first morning of vacation.

Family vacations are a great source of material for personal narratives. Teachers often ask their student to write about the trips they took during the summer. In the elementary grades, these writing pieces sometimes sound like lists. First we did this. . . . Then, we did that. . . . There is often not too much reflection on the experience other than a little description of how the ocean was fun or pretty.  

To help young writers expand their family vacation writing, read The Beach Trip and spend some time talking about funny inconveniences of travel. Was the car too small for all the suitcases? Did kids whine in the backseat? Did a sudden rainstorm make everyone run for cover? How did they handle those situations with their families? Did they come up with creative solutions like Sofia and her family?

Approaching a tried-and-true topic from a different angle can add depth to student writing. It might also provide a few giggles as students remember how they solved a backseat squabble or packed the wrong things for a vacation.

Happy Travels!

Jacqueline Jules

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