This is an easy writing assignment I often give to my Resource Freshman English class upon return from our Winter Break. It could be used for almost any grade level, any subject. Students essentially compose a 5-paragraph essay using the writing prompts (they begin each paragraph with the given sentence, and then complete the paragraph with their personal response). I find that my students like this writing assignment more than standard essay-writing, because I remind them that there is no right or wrong answer, they are writing about their own fun personal experiences and everyone shares at the end. We also take the first several days of 2nd semester to compose, edit, and share, but because they are just writing about their vacation, it doesn't feel like we're really 'back to work' yet!
I use this as a "welcome back" ice breaker to get back into school mode after vacation, an intro to 2nd Semester, and also a mid-year writing assessment. I can compare student writing skills from this Winter Break essay, to their writing skills from the start of the year, and it gives me a good gauge of how far they have come at the half-way point in the year. Plus everyone has fun hearing about what their friends did over break!