Trevor's Travel Binder (Pre-Travel)

On Sunday night, we got home from a 16-day trip in eastern Canada and New England with my parents and my sister's family. (All my blog posts from the past three weeks were scheduled ahead of time). The ten of us flew to Toronto, spent three nights, took a train to Montreal, spent two nights, took a train to Quebec City, and boarded a 10-day cruise on the Ruby Princess. We stopped at Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island), Sydney and Halifax (Nova Scotia), Bar Harbor, Boston, and New York City before flying home from New Jersey. It was an absolutely amazing trip.

We were gone for 10 school days. Rather than giving him worksheets or the assignments he'd be missing during the trip, Trevor's teacher asked him to design his own Independent Study project focusing on 4 C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity). His project would need to involve daily writing, interviews, fact gathering, and more. She stressed the importance of Trevor challenging himself, collaborating with the others in our travel group, and incorporating his new knowledge into the project. After he returned, he would present his project orally to his classmates.

Trevor was very excited by this assignment. He decided that the base of his project would be a travel binder, with 2-4 pages dedicated to each day. He spent every spare minute in three days before we left to put together the base of his travel journal. He created a cover with the title "USA to Canada, Canada to USA" on it, then illustrated it with a sketch of North America with the cities we'd be visiting marked.

For each day of the trip, he prepared a page for journaling and a question-of-the-day that he'd ask everyone each night at dinner. He left room for any "cool stuff" he'd find along the way. He also made a money page to track his spending. Here are just a few of the 40+ pages he prepared before we left home:

We traveled with a lined notepad, a tape runner and photo mounting squares, a pen, a pencil, erasable colored pencils, and a foldable (and plane-legal) pair of scissors.

Each evening, usually at dinner, Trevor would write his journal entry and then ask everyone the question of the day. Then he'd draw pictures or adhere tickets or other ephemera onto his pages. His finished book turned out so well and he is so proud of it. He's been using it to prepare for Monday's oral presentation. Next week, I'll share the all the pages in his completed book.  


  1. How AWESOME is that book he documented his travels in?!?!?! I love it!! What a great idea!!!!!!!

  2. Wow, that is so cool! He seems like a super smart and thoughtful guy. :)

  3. Wow, cool Trevor. What neat ideas he had..

  4. I think that is an absolutely amazing assignment. WAY better than worksheets! So happy Trevor has a teacher who supports his creativity. I can't wait to see what he made.


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