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Theme - Travel Theme

Compiled By: Mrs. G

What a better way to start off the year than using a travel theme. You can take your students on a learning journey they will never forget.

Travel/Adventure Theme
Posted by: BuzyBee

Reward Coupons: Tourist Tokens, Travel Tokens, Use the names of money from other countries like lira, and peso

Ceiling decorations: Make suitcases from brown/black construction paper with character words hanging on them.

Jobs: Put up a blue background with little green islands. Each island represents one job. Write student names on planes, ships, hot air balloons, spaceships, etc. for them to rotate to different jobs.

Bulletin Boards: Use old maps for backgrounds

Also, I was digging through my old files from last year and I had written an adventure theme for someone here it is... it's sort of travel-ish...

**Get one of those large styrofoam planes (cheap at the dollar store) and put your name on it in really big bold letters. Write on the plane "YOUR-LAST-NAME Airways: Where Learning Takes Flight"

**Have all of the students create a passport the first day. Take a digital picture and glue inside. They can add sheets describing places/things they visit throughout the year. Instant portfolio!

**Make a large highway that goes up your wall. Put several exit signs for different places you plan to explore. Like "electricity" "division" etc.

**Get travel brochures from agencies and display them in a center. Encourage students to design their own.

**If you are writing students a letter explaining where they should go the first day of school maybe you could include a personalized "ticket" for the occassion.

**Put up a big banner that says "Welcome to a new adventure." OR "Success is not a destination, it's a journey"

**For reading books, put up brown paper from floor to ceiling. Make it look like a rock wall by drawing cracks and adding crinkles. Give each student a "rockclimber" cutout. For every certain number of books read, move the rockclimber up. '

**For a class reward, move an airplane across a large map of the eart or a spaceship through the solar system. Work toward the end goal.

Where in the world have you been?
Posted by: yclark

I made a huge blue circle and then cut out the continents and glued them on and hung it outside my door. The title was "Where in the world have you been?" then I put all the kids names in magnifying glasses with a subtitle "I've been looking for you everywhere." It posted their names so they could find their class but then we used the globe and main title all year. They drew pictures of where they visited during the summer, made graphs to show how many children had been to different states and countries and then posted some of our international study stuff too.

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Go on a Cruise
Posted by: Tammy Lee

I teach 6th grade, and one thing we did this year was to go on a "cruise". I decorated my room with posters the kids made of the country they were assigned. Prior to this, I called a travel agency and they got together some posters that I picked up, laminated and hung on the outside of my door and also inside. I then made the desks look like a ship by putting banner around them. When they entered I gave them a drink complete with cocktail umbrella. They had a ball. Some of this you could keep up all year if you wanted to.

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Travel Ideas
Posted by: RebeccaF

What about a bulletin board with "Learning Can Take You Anywhere". You can use this for geography. Perhaps your students can write about places they would like to journey to. Read books about those places and even illustrate them.

Or maybe, you could have a student be the "Explorer of the Week" and report about a real or fictional place to the class. You could also put up pictures of that student.

Teach your students about the compass and create some sort of "treasure hunt" or "exploring the school" theme for your first week using compass directions and footsteps where your students will have to find areas of the school that you want them to be familiar with. There are lots of great books for teaching mapping skills at various age levels.

What about an art project teaching your students how to make "old" paper by dying it in tea? They could create maps or a great journal cover or journal pages using this technique and write a much more interesting story about their summer vacations than by using plain old binder paper.

This past year, I created a job board that looked much like a city map. The students were represented by various types of transportation and drove around the "community" to their various jobs which I switched out each week.

You could create a bulletin board that looks like a suitcase (or use an old suitcase) and have the students create those old fashioned suitcase stickers that represent places they have traveled, are from or just want to go to. If you go with an actual suitcase, you could use it to hold props for book talks or history/geography lessons and it could be an interesting way to build student excitement.

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Airplane Theme
Posted by: kiry219

For your job board you could have a "Crew List".
Pilot: Line Leader
Flight Attendant: Paper Passer
Aircraft Maintenance: Room straightener
First Officer: Door Holder

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Road Trip Theme
Posted by: WebJunkie

So far I have decided:
I will have their pictures inside little cut out cars for my A.R. board.

I will decorate my door with old highway maps and put an exit sign made of green construction paper that says Exit: Room 35

I will have students make personal license plates the first week of school that describes them such as ILV2Swm and hang them around the room.

I am also going to purchase from creative teaching press the bb set called "Patriotic Road Trip Across America" they have some cute things in that set.

We are going to read Rules of the Road by Joan Hauler (I think thats her name) It seems like a good novel to begin the year.
We are going to determine our own road rules for the classroom the first week.

Also 1 bulletin board is going to be dedicated to "Cruise the Information Superhighway"--it will have computer border around it and I will take little webquests and web scaveger hunts and put them on colored paper, have them laminated, and hang them by a little ring on the board. The students who finish their work quickly can go cruising in this neat center. My laptops sit right by this bboard for easy access.

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Hitting the road. . .
Posted by: litprof

How's this for answering your own question. . . ;)

*Highways To Adventure--student book reviews

*Plan Your Route--goal setting for the beginning of the year

*Map It Out!--goal setting

*Side Trips--for a regions study, what vacation areas (national parks, museums, etc.) are in each state OR create a webquest for the kids to discover what points of interest are in each state

*Travel/Traveling the Reading Highway--for each state, find children's authors who grew up there--how did growing up in that area influence his/her writings?

*Interstate Travel-Each student uses a US map to tell what states you would travel through to get from point to point--what different routes are there to get there--what is the fastest?

*Book A Flight--students choose from a list of books to do buddy reading or lit circles

*Daily Transportation--list/graph of how each student gets to school each day

*Safe Travel Tips--show students how walking in the hallways is like driving. . .stay on the right; show students places that are "No Passing Zones" (stairs, for example); running in hallways earns a speeding ticket (go back to place of origin and do it again safely)

*Rest Area/Stop--spot in the room where students can work, read, think, chill out quietly

*Construction Zone--project area of the classroom, supply areas

*Drivers' Licenses--kids bring in photos to create a driver's license at the beginning of the year; student info sheet can be the application for the license

*License Plates--each student creates a nametag for her desk; create a glyph for students to follow in creating each plate

*Vehicle Inspections--inspecting desks; students need a "tune-up" if desk needs reorganization

*Travel Guides--students search classroom library for books about a certain place, state in US to create a book basket/display

*Mystery Destination--coop team creates clues/directions for finding a certain state on the map

*I Have. . . Who Has" game about the states or cities in your state. Example question: "I have Pittsburgh. Who has the "City of Brotherly Love"?"

*Travel Games--games that can be played in the car adapted to the classroom

What other ideas can you map out?

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Travel Theme
Posted by: CageyBee

I made a railroad track on the floor using wide black electrical tape. It stuck nicely to the tiles and to the rug. Your class officers could be travel agents or customs officers.
Behavior chart could be...On the Right Track...if you link it to your train.
Issue passports and have the kids keep track of something important like centers completed or compliments received or books read.

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Travel theme
Posted by: 7UP

Do you have access to the Aug./Sept. issue of intermediate Mailbox magazine? There are patterns and ideas in it that might help you. I got my copy today and was considering using some of these ideas myself. (I also teach 3rd!)

Hot-air balloons for descriptive writing/autobiographical paragraph;
Car keys for keys to a successful year;
Spaceship and stars for class rules or job chart; ships and boats; trains.
I have a set of trains for root words and affixes - the engines contain prefixes, the boxcars each have root words, and the cabooses each have suffixes. Children form new words by stringing them together.

How about captions like "Out of this world ________";
"Soaring into _________"; "Sailing into _________"; etc.

Good luck!

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Posted by: ~EJ

I have done this before: Cover your board with a map(s) (city, state, whatever)for the background. Photocopy the front of one of your novels or stories for your grade, a multiplication fact card (or whatever appropriate for your grade), vocabulary words (2 or 3 printed on a card) or whatever. Put these on the board. Then get premade (or make your own) cars in different colors. Write each child's name on a car. Put them like they are "traveling" over the board. Title it "Traveling Through ___Grade".

Reading Destinations: Have precut sheets to make Destination Booklets. After a child reads a book, they have to fill out the sheet (with predetermined questions: Where did your story take place, who were the characters, etc.) Then create booklets to see "where" the students went. OR make it into a b.b. by having them illustrate a sheet of "where they went". Hope that makes sense.

Travel Ideas
Posted by: MJ

Sounds like you are off to a great start!
Here are a few things I thought about:

Get On Board For Good Behavior -- train
Soaring into 3rd Grade -- airplane
On the Road to Success -- cars

You can get free info. from travel agents, visitors centers, or state tourism boards.

A great writing/geography activity is to send letters/postcards to schools all over the US. Use a map to track your respones.

Good Luck!

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Posted by: Jen M

Just this year my grade level co-workers and I began using year-long themes in our classrooms. We coordinate so we are all within a broader theme. For example, this year our grade level theme was "Oh, The Places You Will Go" (Dr. Seuss) We each took a different element of travel for our rooms. One was land, one air, one water, and the other was space. We even decorated our hallway and did projects throughout the year regarding travel around the world (we did group reports on various countries and presented to the other classes in our grade level.
Next year our theme is habitats/animals. One class has rainforests, one has the outback/desert, one has safari, one has ocean, and our special ed teacher is going to do the tundra. It should be great. We are already planning!!

Travel Theme
Posted by: Stephanie

I used a travel theme last year and grouped my desk in groups of 4 and each set of groups was a continent and for the name tags I had each student be a country in that continent (i.e. one group was Europe and one student was France, Germany, Switzerland so on, another group was South America one student was Brazil, another Chile and so on) for the job board I had the names cut outs on islands and for the job they were planes, etc hope this helps it was really fun.

3rd grade teacher

Posted by: Sari

When I taught seventh-grade social studies a few years ago, I used a "passport" system. I got some old folders and cut them to about 4" x 8". (Using the folders worked because they already had the fold and were sturdy, but you could also make them from construction paper and laminate them.) I typed up a mock information page, using the school as the country and the first and last days of school for the valid dates. I asked the students to bring in a small picture, which they pasted on the inside cover. I let them decorate the outside if they wanted to. You could also use a picture of your school mascot on the cover.

The pages were tables that I created on the computer. Each page represented a different unit that we studied that year (The Fall of Rome, The Rise of Islam, etc.). My units involved the competion of six projects per unit, so I had six boxes per page. But you could design the inner pages to suit your needs. When students turned in their projects, they earned a stamp in the corresponding box. (I got the stamps at a teacher supply store. They have boxed sets with various images, and they come in different sizes. I used the smallest size, which happened to be insects.) This was a convenient way to keep track of whether assignments had been turned in, and it tied in to the idea of "traveling" to the different eras.

I think Time Traveling is a great theme. The passport idea above might work well with it. Although I didn't use time travel specifically, I should have, since our mascot was the Rockets!

Have fun with whatever theme you decide to use.

World Tour
Posted by: azfarkas

During my student teaching I did a world tour with the students during the last two weeks of school. Obviously because we only did it in two weeks you would have to expand on everything we did but this may give you some ideas!

On the first day of the tour we set the classroom up like an airplane (put the chairs in rows, taped up pictures of clouds-as windows, we left an aisle in the middle and put a tv at the end, we showed a movie and I pushed a cart up and down the aisle handing out popcorn).

We created a US Embassy and when ever a child lost thier passport, they would have to go to the Embassy to get a new one made. We made passports on photopaper and inserted each child's picture so it looked very nice, if they lost it, we drew one on an index the kids held onto thier passports tight!

In the hallway I created a large map of the world (I found a pic that I liked on the internet, I printed it, put it on an overhead sheet, put it on the overhead and pulled the overhead back until the picture was the size I wanted, I then traced it onto large paper). Whenever we traveled to a new place we marked it on our map.

The students made suitcases out of construction paper and I cut index cards into small strips and for each country we made a label to look like stickers on the suitcases. The kids loved this! In thier suitcases they carried a travel packet (containing a smaller version of the map in the hall-they individually marked each place we went and connect the places at the end),they each had a travel journal-at the end of each day they wrote about the place they had traveled to.

In each country that we went to we read a book, search on the internet and had guest speakers to learn all about the place where we were. We also had one type of food from that place and we did some sort of craft. In Japan we did tangrams-the kids LOVED this. I have a book that goes along with it somewhere..if I find it I will post it for you. We did woven mats in Mexico, rainsticks in Africa, mini pizza in Italy, rice in China, etc.

This is all I can think of for now, I will look through what I have at home and see if there is anything else I find you may like! Hope this helps :)

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Classroom Road
Posted by: Jodi4/5

I have a road in my classroom to track students Accelerated Reader points, an idea I borrowed from my favorite 4th grade teacher. I made 5 mile sections of the road out of tagboard and laminated them. Then I put velcro on each section. Each kid has a car that also has velcro on it and each week I move their car according to how many points they have. There are road signs all along the road at various points with prizes (candy, bookmark, trip to treasure box, etc). The kids love it and it has been a good motivator. I loop so at the end of this year I am going to make orange cones at the spot where each kid ended this year and challenge them to go past that point next year :p
Have fun with 4th grade! They are a great age group!!!

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"travel with a book"
Posted by: kismet3024

is our AR theme this year. Upstart promotions has plenty of things to go along with a travel theme. They have bookmarks decorated to look like tickets to each of the continents. They also have reading passports that the kids can use to keep track of their journeys.

Perhaps you could have an "international theme" party at the end of the year.

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Posted by: teach3

The 3rd grade teachers in my building ths year are using the theme "Oh, The Places You Will Go" and each of us has chosen a different mode of transportation as our classroom themes. One is air, one is space, one is land, one is sea. The throughout the year we are taking a day to discover new places such as states or countries. We will look talk about how you get there, what there is to see there, what kind of food they eat, famous landmarks, etc. We are very excited!!

Travel theme
Posted by: Anngee

Sorry if this double posts. I did this once and it didn't show up. Here are some ideas I came up with, Heading out for a great year, Cruise on in to 4th grade, 'Auto' be a super year, On the road to success, Exploring new roads, Look Out! Great Year Ahead, Look Who's cruised into room 24, Oh, the places we'll go this year, We're going places this year, or Here we go! Good luck. -Anngee