Help students overcome the deadly summer slide and have fun while they are at it! And since the focus is local, children will grow academically as they learn about the community in which they live.
Summer learning doesn't have to be a drag. There are plenty of opportunities for students to continue to learn over the summer while at the same time having a good time. One way to encourage students to keep learning over the summer is to help them and their families connect to local events, organizations and places that offer unique, fun, learning experiences.
You can rest assured that the pay off is real for both educators and students. A national study by Jessica L. Parker from Clemson University showed that “academic achievement in reading, mathematics, and general knowledge and visits to art or science museums, historical sites, zoos or aquariums, beaches or lakes, plays or concerts, national or state parks, amusement parks, or large cities. A significant difference was found in all subjects with visits to all of the places besides amusement parks” (pg 91).
Here are three more ideas to help encourage families to create summer learning adventures that will keep the kids learning!
- Summer Adventure Share. Have students teach the class something new they learned to do over the summer
- Create a “passport” for your students. As they visit different cultural and educational destinations they can write about it or perhaps get a sticker or stamp from the destination.
- Help students create a summer bucket list. During those last few days of class, talk to students about the different opportunities that they have to get out into the community and have fun over the summer. Give students a printout of a bucket and let them create a local adventure bucket list to share at home. Below is a short list of places, ideas, and events that will keep students engaged and learning all summer long.
- Take in local architecture
- Local Historical sites like monuments
- Attend outdoor theatre or music performances
- Street fairs and festivals
- Farmers Market
A few books that can help introduce local community destinations to students. Find these at Big Universe.
|In Our Town Laura Verderosa|
|Towns have many different places to visit. What buildings do you see in your town?|
|Night of the Community Center Joshua Rae Martin
|A community center has many exciting activities to choose from. You can play games, swim, and even learn how to cook there. As you read, you can compare the size of a tennis racket to a ping pong racket, use cubes to measure the world's smallest snake, and even use feet to measure the length of a basketball court. What would you use to measure a snake? 32pp.|
|Our Trip to the City Rann Roberts
|The family in this book is going on a vacation. They drive in a car, ride on an escalator, take a ferry across the water, and more. They discover the many ways that addition is a part of daily life. They even use addition to count taxis and to compare the cost of riding the subway for the day and the week. Hop on the double-decker bus and join them on their adventure through the city. 32pp|
|Urban Animals Isabel Hill (author)
|Donkeys, boars, geese, and even elephants! These are some of the fascinating animals that decorate the buildings in our cities. Introduced by simple rhyming text, vibrant photographs and playful illustrations, this book invites children (and adults) to look up and around and discover the urban zoo that shares their city.|
|Farmer's Market Dawson J. Hunt|
|Many people like to buy fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. The farmers market is a special market where farmers sell the crops they grow. They sell different crops at different times of the year. Sometimes the farmers even make sweet desserts with their fresh fruit. Follow this farming family through the seasons and learn how to weigh and measure food along the way. How many apples do you think they need to make an apple pie? 32pp.|