Whether you are putting together summer learning work for your students or teaching over the summer, it can be difficult to engage students in work during this time. Is it possible to make summer learning fun? We like to think so!
Since students (and educators) have summer on the brain, we created activities with summer themes. This way, students get to engage with the season they love, while learning and completing work. We know students are more engaged and retain more information when they learn about things they enjoy. And what’s not to enjoy about summer? That’s why we went for a fool-proof combo: summer theme + reading and writing skills = a student actually engaged in summer lessons.
We want to share some summer themed reading and writing activities – because summer learning doesn’t have to be dull.
How can you make summer learning engaging?
When the sun is beaming and the pool is sparkling…it can be hard to keep students engaged and attentive on their summer work. The summer activities you choose will make a difference, but also how you present the material can impact engagement!
Instead of sticking to the same format, such as filling out a worksheet, mix it up! This keeps things fresh and new, and will keep students from getting bored.
Here are some of the methods we recommend for mixing it up –
☀️ Group Learning
Allow students to learn from each other. This can be through a collaborative mini-lesson, class discussion, or group project.
Here’s an easy way to implement summer group learning: Over the course of a few days, have your students work together to create a complete, organized summer-themed paragraph! This activity helps them not only work on their writing skills but also cooperation and negotiation.
Easily implement this project with our Summer Paragraph Writing resource, filled with increasingly complex writing prompts (from pictures, to a written prompt to a general topic). Plus, you don’t need to prepare a thing.
Have students jump around to different summer-themed centers! They can complete various summer activities, each focusing on a different skill. Students should practice in each station for about 5-10 minutes, and then move to the next center. Centers can have a mix of hands-on activities, videos to watch, or paper and pencil (or scissor and glue) activities to complete!
One concept that always seems to be a challenge for students is sentence formation.
Our Summer Sentences resource can easily be transformed into centers! Students can sort complete and incomplete sentence strips or practice writing sentences about fun, colorful summer photos. You can easily create 4-5 different centers with the various, differentiated summer activities in this resource. An easy-peasy complete summer lesson!
Mix things up with a digital activity. This summer lesson may be as simple as a digital task card or an online game related to summer. We recommend checking out pink cat games. This website links academic activities with fun, summer games! Just search for an activity targeting the concept you are teaching and then pick one of their summer games.
Another no-prep digital activity is our Summer Story Retell resource! We realize students are itching to play outside, so we created stories all about fun in the sun. Students will love getting to move the pictures into the correct sequence and being able to type up their own summer story! This resource has all the modeling examples, visual supports, and interactive graphic organizers ready for you.
Sometimes students need to hear information from someone else for it to sink in. This is why we highly recommend using teaching videos. You get to take a break from talking, while students are learning. Check out videos from Mystery Doug, National Geographic, or the GRASPhopper YouTube Channel. All of our videos break down academic ELA concepts like retelling a story or writing topic sentences. It’s filled with models, examples, and practice opportunities.
If you teach primary students or English language learners, our Summer Vocabulary video is another great summer activity! Students will learn vocabulary about –
🕶️ Going to the beach
🕶️ Swimming in a pool
🕶️ Taking a Road Trip
This is super engaging for students because it’s likely they will be participating in some of these activities over the summer. Challenge them to journal about some of their summer fun, and maybe even retell events from their day.
We hope you find some of these methods for engaging students over the summer useful! We are more than familiar with the challenges that come with holding students’ attention when so many exciting things are happening beyond our classroom walls (or outside our students’ homes). However, we also strongly believe that learning doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, with the right resources, students may not realize they are even flexing their skills.
Grab some of our summer activities, and make your summer learning activities simple and fun.