International travel is something that in the last several years has become more accessible and more common, especially among young people. I know my parents never left the US (until I got married abroad), but all the family members of my generation have left the US for travel, at least once. So when planning projects for class, I really enjoy giving students the opportunity to apply what we’re learning in class and practice trip planning. There are two projects in particular that I’ve used that were a great hit.
The first one I did during my student teaching. To close out a unit of study on future tense verbs, students had to plan a trip they were to take in the future. The guidelines were simple: they had to choose a Spanish-speaking country, and plan accommodations, food, transport, and activities while there. They weren’t limited in the amount of money they could spend, but they did have to present a budget telling how much they had spent on each item. This is great real-world practice, as most students will plan trips for themselves, their families, or their friend group, at some point in their life. Why not start now?
The second travel project I did was with my group of 9th grade geography students. We were studying a unit on the Middle East, and while most wouldn’t venture over to that region of the world today for security reasons, the students were encouraged to take a look at ancient and modern wonders that can be found there. In spite of the many wars being fought, and having been fought over there, there is a cultural richness as well. Students didn’t have to present their work in front of the class, but this time I encouraged them to be creative in the medium they used to tell about their trip. Some chose travel boxes, some chose a travel log, one pair of students even turned in a small “Noah’s ark” with little cards and trinkets inside telling about their journey.
Travel is fun. Learning about other countries is fun. Why not combine the two?