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Mother's Day Trip: A Fun Lesson

Subjects

  • Language Arts
  • Dance and Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Geography

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
 

Brief Description

Send your students' mothers on a trip to a faraway destination while honing students' speaking skills.

Objectives

Students will

  • develop public speaking skills.
  • write original scripts for informative "infomercials," plays, poetry, etc.
  • design sets and invitations (art).

Keywords

Mother's Day, script, vacation, trip

Materials Needed

  • library and/or Internet resources for research
  • art supplies
  • videotape recorder (optional)

The Lesson

This is a fun activity to do in late April or early May. In this activity, students are going to send their mothers (or grandmothers or another significant female in their lives) on a "trip" to an exotic location for Mother's Day. You might select the location, or students might do that. Then students will research the location and develop a mini travelogue "trip" that they can present to their mothers. Present the "trip" as a live performance; or you might videotape the trip so students can present the video to their mothers as a Mother's Day present.

One year we chose Paris, and another year we chose Hawaii. The best year I did this activity, I had a particularly creative group and we sent the mothers to Fantasy Island.

This activity could coincide with the curriculum; if you are studying a particular place, that location can be the focus of this special "trip." For example, when we studied Hawaii, the students decided to send their mothers there. We studied the geography and the state thoroughly to get ideas for the "trip." We created a huge map for a set. Students wrote original plays about pineapple plantations and Hawaii's royal traditions; one group even did a takeoff on "Magnum, P.I." We presented this trip as a live performance. We served tropical fruit punch and cookies, and we made leis for each mom. The lesson really polished students' presentation and performance skills, plus we learned a few lessons about manners. The lesson also gave us a focus in that terribly wild month before school was out.

Adapting the Lesson
The entire class might work on creating different aspects of a video for a single location; that way, students explore a single locale in-depth. As an alternative, small groups of students might work on creating introductions to a handful of locations and the Mother's Day present can be a "trip around the world" instead of a trip to one locale.

If your students are exploring one location, students might work in small groups to cover the

  • geography of the location;
  • history of the location (students might write small "playlets" to present major events of historic importance);
  • places to visit while there; and
  • other information of interest.

If your students are working in small groups on different locations around the world, individual students within each group might explore each of the four topics in the bulleted list above.

Assessment

I used this project as a social studies grade. I based my grade/assessment on the amount of research students put into writing their plays or their sections of the "trip." With this project, my students learned more about the area(s) highlighted than they learned about the entire planet all year!

Submitted By

Submitted by Rox-Anne Cox, Albia Community School in Albia, Iowa


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