We’ve been racking our brains for creative ways to keep our students sharp when we’re not there this summer. Here’s one of our ideas: have them keep travel journals. Even if your students don’t end up traveling, they can still use pictures, drawings, articles, receipts, and brief journal entries to document the things they did and saw when they weren’t in school.
To get them excited about the idea, we combed the Internet and found five tutorials to help them create their own travel journal. Although students can always purchase journals—Amazon has a large selection—we thought having them create their own would make a fun end-of-the-year project.
Use Travel Journals to Help Prevent Summer Slide
Kim Rankin’s blog Catching Foxes offers an excellent travel-journal tutorial:
Here’s another we found on Mom Endeavors:
Another from Julie Kirk’s website, Notes on Paper:
MyHandboundBooks sells a 9-page tutorial (for $10.00) that outlines the process for making leather journals like the one you see below. The document—a PDF that is immediately sent to your email—includes tips for selecting leather, detailed sewing instructions, and templates to cut out. Everything is fully illustrated with step-by-step instructions and written for people with no bookbinding experience.
If your students worry that they won’t know what to write about, provide them with a few of the prompts below:
"The weather today was"
"I made a friend"
"I learned a new word"
"I tried a new food"
"The best/worst parts"
"I’m homesick for"
"The funniest thing happened to me"
"Today I saw/smelled/heard/felt/tasted"
"Illustrate the difference: draw a picture of a building, vehicle, view, that differs from home"
"Make a collage of found brochures, newspapers, magazines at your destination"
"Draw pictures of each of your travel companions"