Relief Teaching Ideas

Sharing ideas to help make relief teaching fun, enjoyable, and meaningful.


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School Holiday Sharing

When students return from vacation they are often asked to share what they have been up to during their break from school. Here are a few ideas of how they can do this:

Two Stars & A Wish

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http://acrucialweek.blogspot.com.au/2011/08/two-stars-and-wish-freebie.html?m=1

This FREE printable can be used by students to share two great things about their holidays & one thing they wish they had been able to do.
You can also use this for students to self assess their work, to review an excursion or another special event, or to fill out about a book they’ve read.
I’ve used this type of sheet many times before, however this one is a lot prettier than the one I used to use!
You can also have students divide their page in three & draw their own stars & wish, instead of photocopying. 🙂

Holiday Postcard

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http://blog.melissaanddoug.com/2013/06/24/summer-postcard-pen-pal-projects/

Print out for students to illustrate & write about what they did on the school holidays.
If they didn’t go anywhere, what did they do at home or vacation care? Read, watch movies, visit friends?

News Report

Have students write a newspaper article about an event that happened during the holidays. It can be a sports report (a game they played or went to see), a movie or book review, a travel report, or something exciting that occurred (a new baby sister, a missing toy that was found, a new pet).
You can then collate the articles to create a class newspaper to keep & display in your class library. You could even print off a copy for each student!

Alternatively, have students create news reports to record using on the iPad. Collate to create a TV news episode for the class to view.

Partner News Sharing

A twist on traditional news sharing:
After a long weekend or the school holidays, many students return wanting to share what they did during their break.

Here’s an idea to ensure that all students are engaged in the news sharing.
– Pair students up
– One partner shares for 1 minute* while the other listens carefully.
– Swap roles so the other person can share for 1 minute.
– Bring the class together & then choose students to share what their PARTNER did on the weekend.
– Check in with their partner to see if they remembered the details correctly!

*I find even the most reluctant sharers are willing to have a go when they hear they only have to talk for 1 minute!

Fact or Fiction?

A writing task for after holidays or a long weekend!

Students are often asked to write a recount of what they did on the weekend or during their holidays.
Here’s an idea to motivate those students who complain that they never have anything to write about!!

– Have students choose between writing what they really did or be creative and make something up!
– They need to include the who, what, when, where & why of a normal recount.
– If they are writing a fictional piece they can either make it sound believable (eg I went to the zoo with my family & we had a picnic lunch) OR they can be a little silly with it (I went to the moon with my pet iguana & we ate purple twisties).
– After students write their piece they can either illustrate or write another recount (the opposite of what they chose first).
– Students can then read out their recounts for the other students & teacher to guess whether their recount is FACT or FICTION.

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50 Word Story Challenge!

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A 50 Word Story is more of a snapshot in time, rather than a full length story. Like the name suggests, it is only made up of 50 words, including the title, and usually has a surprise ending or twist.

This task is best suited for middle to upper grades. It hones a student’s writing skills & focuses on writing concisely, careful word choice & ruthless editing!

I saw this writing exercise in a creative writing for older grades book that I had & then unfortunately lost many, years ago. I’m so sad that I misplaced this book because it had so many great ideas in it! If I could remember the name of it I would list it here as the source. My apologies!

Because I lost the book I had to come up with my own examples when I ran a 50 Word Story Competition with a year 4 class.

Here are two of my examples:

1. The Ballerina
Music fills the room. The ballerina, always poised and delicate, dances, arm held high, feet pointed. Her pink dress sparkles as she twirls around. Her audience, a little girl, watches in awe and claps with delight.
“Dinner!” her mother calls.
The girl closes her jewellery box.
“Coming mum.”

2. And the winner is…
Crouching at the finish line, heart pounding, nervous tension in the air. Starter’s gun goes off with a BANG! Muscles spring into action. Must win. Everything focused on the finishing line. Concentrate. Ignore distractions.
“Run! Run! Run!” the crowd yells.
Then…Splat.
Face first on asphalt.

After reading my examples to students I would show them my draft copies. I told them that before I started writing I worked out the twist or ending of my story & worked towards that. I pointed out how, as I wrote, I crossed words out, rewrote sections, added & took away words, until I had a 50 word story that I was happy with.

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I would also stress that it wasn’t like a normal story with character development, great descriptions of setting or problems & resolutions. Instead it was a snapshot in time.
We would brainstorm other ideas & I would start another example on the board for students to contribute to & see the writing process that I would go through.
When they were confident I would then send them to their seats to have a go by themselves.
Even the more reluctant writers were happy to have a go. The 50 word limit made the task of writing a story not as daunting!
As students wrote, edited & rewrote we had some valuable conferencing time discussing how important word choice was. They needed to make every word count!


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Fact or Fiction

A writing task for after holidays or a long weekend!

Students are often asked to write a recount of what they did on the weekend or during their holidays. Here’s an idea to motivate those students who complain that they never have anything to write about!!

– Have students choose between writing what they really did or be creative and make something up!
– They need to include the who, what, when, where & why of a normal recount.
– If they are writing a fictional piece they can either make it sound believable (eg I went to the zoo with my family & we had a picnic lunch) OR they can be a little silly with it (I went to the moon with my pet iguana & we ate purple twisties).
– After students write their piece they can either illustrate or write another recount (the opposite of what they chose first).
– Students can then read out their recounts for the other students & teacher to guess whether their recount is FACT or FICTION.