Writing About Summer Vacations

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 watermelon).

I do cut up several shades of green for the “rind” to look real and 2 shades of red for the watermelon art. 

After we eat the watermelon, we then collect and count the seeds in our piece. Then we compare our number with our estimation. Then we save and dry out those seeds on a napkin 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 on the green (for the rind) and the red (for the inside). The last step is gluing a few seeds (8 to 10) on each watermelon art project.

I did raspberry banana but I’m gonna try Watermelon next! 

I just throw in a bunch of fruit, yogurt and OJ and some ice. Blend it up! 

I’ve been making smoothies on my Summer Vacation! 

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.  😀 I guess it could happen?

At Primarily Speaking they made watermelon life cycles for science!

You could also do some “watermelon” scented Kool-aid Playdough and add the extra watermelon seeds to it for fun. The recipe is really easy and takes 4 minutes to make with 5 ingredients. Check it out. You could add triangles of watermelon playdough with different amounts of seeds on top as a center game.And Hubbards Cupboard  had a cute printable for making rhyming words on melon cutouts. That would be a fun center activity too!

There are only 5 ingredients in Kool-Aid Playdough besides the water……Check out the Recipe HERE!

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.

Here’s a few things that add to my mini unit on Watermelon and Summer Vacations….

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 (check it out below) is one book I read to the kids to get them excited about writing about their own summer vacations! To get us in the writing mood we do a CLASS mad lib for a warm up on a doc camera or overhead.. It helps them with ideas too. Then we brainstorm.  I list VACATIONS, PARTIES, SWIMMING, HIKES, BBQ, FRIENDS, GAMES, SPORTS on the board. Then the kids help add to it.  I also spell some of the fun places around town everybody goes to like Boondocks, Chuck E. Cheese and Disneyland, camping, etc.  Garden Patch Math is a Fun math card game with a Watermelon theme. After brainstorming on a watermelon shaped piece of pink butcher paper with green “rind” around it,  (See sample below….. )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 top says “What I did on My Summer Vacation” across the top.

Our finished “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” 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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