My Favorite Place I Went Over Summer Vacation

Lesson Title: My Favorite Place I Went Over Summer Vacation

By Betsy Perry, Miller Elementary School

 Subjects: Writing & Art

 Grade Level: Fourth Grade

 Learning Goal: Students will think, share, and learn about other classmates’ summer vacations through using the writing workshop process.

Content Standards:

  • EL.04.WR.01 Use a variety of strategies to prepare for writing, such as brainstorming, making lists, mapping, outlining, grouping related ideas, using graphic organizers, and taking notes.
  • EL.04.WR.04 Choose the form of writing that best suits the intended purpose–personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, or narrative.
  • EL.04.WR.06 Focus on a central idea, excluding loosely related, extraneous, and repetitious information.
  • EL.04.WR.08 Revise drafts by combining and moving sentences and paragraphs to improve the focus and progression of ideas.
  • EL.04.WR.08 Revise drafts by combining and moving sentences and paragraphs to improve the focus and progression of ideas.

NETS-S Standards:

#1 Creativity and Innovation – Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

#2 Communication and Collaboration – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

#3 Research and Information Fluency – Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

 Materials and Resources Needed:

  • Half/Half Configuration for Computers and an Art Station (One student will be working on the computer while the other is working on his/her art work to illustrate the favorite place. After day one, students will switch activity.)
  • Teacher Pick-up Box/Drop Box
  • Inspiration Template
  • All the Places to Love, by Patricia MacLachlan

Summary of Instructional Technology Strategies Used:

  • Develop templates to target learning activities and make the most of instructional time
  • Chunk technology instruction into mini lessons throughout class time
  • Identify and take advantage of teachable technology moments
  • Narrow the options/choices for students within a particular program
  • Include writing (draft, revise, and edit) in technology activities

 Lesson Steps:

Prior to Lesson:

Provide the following template in your Pick-up Box for students to open: The Place I Love







  1. Read aloud the story listed above. Have a discussion about places students visited over summer vacation. Students can think-pair-share with a buddy next to them about a favorite place they visited over summer and would like to tell/write about.
  2. Have students close their eyes and visualize the favorite place. Using the same or new buddy, have them describe, using their five senses, what they saw in their heads. Tell them half will be working on an illustration for their favorite summer vacation place and the other half will begin the writing. Then students will switch activities after an hour and/or the next day. Instruct all students on the process for the artwork.
  3. While half is starting their artwork, instruct the other half to open up the teacher’s pick-up box on their assigned computer. Have them drag and open “The Place I Love” template.
  4. For the diagram, students must type one to two words in each box. Remind them this is the brainstorming part.
  5. Have them change to the outline mode, and demonstrate how to take the ideas, return to the line below the word(s), and begin typing complete sentences. This is a great time for mini lessons on sentence structure and varying sentence beginnings.
  6. Once the outline mode is complete, students will transfer to Microsoft Word. Go through the saving process with them in both Inspiration and Word.
  7. In Word, students will continue to edit/revise and see that they have created two, complete paragraphs.
  8. When done, students will “drop” papers into teacher’s drop box and/or print the final paper.


Students will read aloud their printed copy and post in the classroom. Teachers can use the six traits writing rubric scoring guide to score the writing too.





About Amy Tarnow

Amy Tarnow has been with the Bend-La Pine Schools since 2000, and is currently serving as the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology. As a former classroom teacher and a mother of two young children, her goal is to support all teachers in creating relevant, personalized and connected learning opportunities that help all students succeed both in education, and their lives beyond the classroom.