If you’re a librarian or educator, you’ve probably spent the past several months trying to come up with ways to engage students even when you couldn’t interact with them in person. Now that it’s summer and many states are opening up again, there’s more opportunity for interaction, although much of it is still at a distance. Still, it’s important to make that effort to connect and keep kids curious and engaged in learning, even if it’s via Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Here are some summer learning activities for elementary students to help them (and you!) gear up for the upcoming school year.
Participate in the 2020 Collaborative Summer Library Program: Imagine Your Story
GEDDES is proud to work with the Collaborative Summer Library Program each year; we provide summer reading incentives that get kids excited about reading. This year’s theme is Imagine Your Story and it’s not too late to have your library participate. The CSLP has terrific resources on their website, including a manual with program and craft ideas and inexpensive supplies like posters and reading records.
The primary purpose of summer reading programs is to prevent summer slide and motivate kids to read all year long, but it also fosters positive feelings about books and the library. While a summer reading program might look a bit different in the midst of a pandemic, there are ways to pull it off—check in with students virtually and mail incentives, hold Zoom parties, have drive-up book pickup, etc.
Put Together a Library of Online Printables
Not every lesson or learning activity has to be an impressive science experiment or messy art project. With many parents juggling working with kids at home, quiet learning activities that kids can do on their own are especially helpful. As an educator, you can curate a collection of these activities and share them with parents—coloring pages, crossword puzzles, word searches, and connect-the-dots are all ideal for elementary school students. Our collection of printable activities will help get you started.
Have Students Do an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way to get kids outside. Put together a list of items that can be found in the community—or you can ask students to find different shapes, plants, animals, or anything else they’ve recently learned about—and meet up on Zoom in a few days to see who found the most from their list.
Plan a Dream Vacation
Many travel plans have been canceled this summer, leaving a lot of disappointed kids. Have your students plan the imaginary vacations of their dreams—where will they go? What will they do there? How will they get there? What is their budget? Ask them to draw some of the pictures they might take while on this trip. This is a learning activity that reinforces math, reading, geography, art, and a number of other skills.
Movie vs. Book
Is the movie better than the book? Or is the book better than the movie? Have your students answer this question—either choose one book as a class to read together or have students choose their own as an individual project to tackle. Have them read the book first, then watch the movie. Which did they like better? How were they different? Why do students think those changes were made?
Get More Summer Learning Activity Ideas from GEDDES