How is summer vacation related to nonfiction text structures?

Going on vacation is always a big summer event at my house.  This year we decided to take another road trip.  (One advantage of living in Iowa is that almost any vacation can be completed by driving!)  This summer we pointed our car Northwest and headed for our country's first national park (Yellowstone) and the great state of Montana!
My husband was happy to drive the entire trip, so I sat with my laptop and gleefully typed away until my computer ran out of power.  As a result, I completed some items on my to-do-list!  My tone task cards, tone craftivity, mood craftivity, and nonfiction text structure task cards were all created during our 40 hours in the van.  (Thank goodness for electronic games, the DVD player and the occasional bribe- my daughters were pretty content during the entire trip!)  I am excited to use all of the items I worked on next year with my 5th grade classes!

By looking at the Nonfiction Text Structure task cards, one can identify elements of our family vacation! Task card topics include the following:
  • BEARS  (My daughters were hoping to see a bear... I was hoping NOT to see one!)
  • FRENCH FRIES (We passed a lot of McDonald's restaurants along the road, and yes, we stopped at a few of them!)
  • WILDFIRES (Who knew there were so many dead trees in Yellowstone?)
  • BIKES (There seem to be many biking enthusiasts in Montana!  We passed a lot of them!)
  • THE GRAND CANYON (I couldn't resist including this topic, as this will hopefully be a vacation destination in the near future!)
  • GLACIERS (A tribute to our visit to Glacier National Park.)  
If you teach nonfiction text structures, feel free to take a peek at these task cards.

There are several examples of these types of paragraphs:
Compare and Contrast
Cause and Effect
Problem and Solution
This is my favorite photo from the trip!
We got to play in snow (in July!?!?) ,
while our friends back home were sweating in the extreme heat that week.

With school starting in just over a week, I'm sure we'll have "mountains" of white snow before we know it!  Stay cool!

P.S.  If you haven't already...time is running out for entering my raffle giveaway!  Again, one winner will receive my I Have...Who Has Game BUNDLE ($25 value)!  Sign up today!
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  1. Cute pics! I did a double take of that one with snow! It looked like sand with their summer clothes on! Lol!

  2. HA! I never even considered that it might look like sand until you mentioned it! was definitely NOT sand! :)

  3. Deb, my husband and I stop at many McDonalds on our drive to and from Florida each March Break. We Canadians LOVE the dollar menu in the States!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. Just found your blog, Deb, through Krista's Creative Clips. Always love to find teachers who blog about teaching older students.
    Your Montana vacation sounds wonderful. There's so much gorgeous country in the U.S. I'm a fan of exploring it all!

  5. I REALLY want to go to Yellowstone. The pictures are wonderful! Sounds like a great family vacation! My fondest memories as a child are of driving with my parents from Florida to Maine every summer.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

    1. Wow - Florida to Maine - that's quite a haul! Road trips do indeed make for great family memories, though. Thanks for stopping by my blog! ~Deb

  6. You have such a beautiful family! I marvel that you can work in the car! I am so busy watching everything that I can't get a thing done. I can't even read a book! I'm just too nosy... LOL!

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Angela...and I must admit, I loved being so productive in the car! Perhaps I should enjoy the scenery a bit more...but the scenery in South Dakota and Montana doesn't change much in the course of 100 miles... :)

  7. Oh my goodness. 40 hours in the car? Bless you all! We are headed for vacation 5 hours away and I'm worried about my littles being a disaster in the car! Your girls are very cute and it looks like the scenery was well worth the long car ride :-)


    1. Thank you for the compliment! The long car rides have definitely gotten easier as they have grown. How old are your little ones? The 14 hour car ride when we took when my younger one had just turned two was definitely the most difficult.

      Here is a trick that has worked wonders for us! We give them both a roll of quarters at the beginning of the ride, and we tell them that if they bicker or whine, they lose a quarter. However many quarters they have left when we arrive at our destination is their spending money. A friend gave me that idea!

      Good luck and have fun!