I am looking for fun engaging teaching and learning ideas/games for my 14, 15 & 4 year old girls while on a 17 hour train ride from NY to GA Thanksgiving week. Would love to make it interactive and based on our geography/location as we ride through the states and cities on the Amtrak Cresent http://bit.ly/qYdmUI.
Kids will have their iPads, iPhones and Android Devices.
Would love to use Mapping, GPS, Smithsonian Objects, Wonderopolis Wonders, RWT and some illumination resources that are relative to the trip as we ride through PA, DE, WDC, MD, VA, NC, SC & GA. .
Keep the ideas coming.
The kids will be required to do a trip report
This sounds like a great family experience! I might first start by sharing some information about trains and the railroad. ReadWriteThink has a calendar entry about the completion of the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/1870-transcontinental-railroad-completed-20277.html).
Your family could compare their travel experiences with those of Jack Kerouac. You can learn more about his roadtrip using the RWT calendar entry (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/road-author-jack-kerouac-20287.html) and then use the Venn Diagram Tool to compare (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/venn-diagram-circles-30006.html).
It's important for children and teens to know how to use maps. This activity (http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/activities-projects/where-learning-read-maps-30649.html) from RWT will help kids develop these skills by having them analyze the features found on a state map; locate—and estimate distances between—familiar landmarks on a local map; and research statistical information using an online atlas.
If the girls are going to do some writing, I would introduce them to the genre of travel writing using the RWT resource Beyond “What I Did on Vacation”: Exploring the Genre of Travel Writing (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/beyond-what-vacation-exploring-1086.html).
If the girls know some of the things they might see and experience, work together to create a bingo board that can be played on the train, while walking around town, going to the zoo or a museum. Think of words related to your activity and make a game board to go with it (http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/activities-projects/play-bingo-30282.html). This resource is also available in Spanish.
On your return trip, invite them to create a travel brochure to share information about the things and places they saw with others. They can draw pictures, use photographs, add maps, and write details about what they see or learn. In the end, they will be creating their own souvenirs! http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/activities-projects/design-travel-brochure-30297.html
Most of all, have a great time and enjoy being with your family!
Lisa Fink from ReadWriteThink at NCTE
Wonderopolis is excited to be a part of this adventure! Check out these Wonders of the Day:
Happy and safe travels!
Perhaps your 14 and 15-year-olds could read the picture book Jingle the Brass with your four-year-old, then explore activities from All Aboard the Train, a resource set from our OurStory program, which helps children and their caregivers explore history together through children’s literature. These are designed for K-4 students and their caregivers, but I imagine they'd work for your girls! They can explore train stations and learn about the jobs in the train station and how trains operate in Trains Near You; watch a video of the John Bull steam locomotive, which first ran in 1831, in action when it was run in 1981; or, sing train songs with Sing, Play, Cook Railroad Style.
They can also learn about how people traveled in 1890, 1940, 1959, and explore transportation in 2000 with the Drive Through Time interactive. It also looks like the Crescent runs through Salisbury, NC. Your older girls may be interested in reading what it was like to travel through Salisbury in the 1920s. That particular section of our online exhibition on transportation looks at segregated travel, so it's one you may want to read and discuss with them.
National Museum of American History
We would love to have you share photos of your trip and family. You can upload photos as attachments to your next post to this discussion as long as they total 50 MB or less. Or you can embed a photo using the Insert Image icon as you post. Same limits to upload remain. Looking forward to your post.