This summer is sure to be a different experience for everyone. Here are some summer learning ideas to help kids have fun and keep learning whether they are able to get outside or need to remain inside their homes. Many of them can also be completed virtually using materials that are found around the house.
The summer is a great time to incorporate more hands-on learning. STEM activities are engaging and great for language development.
- Stick Fort Building– Try using twigs and having students build forts for dolls/action figures
- Baking Soda/Vinegar Powered boats– Can be messy so outside works the best
- Ice cream in a bag– If you have access to an old fashioned hand crank ice cream making you can make a large batch. Otherwise, this recipe is a fun one to try. Who knew that learning about science could be so tasty?
- Using STEM with ELLs– Ideas for teaching STEM activities to ELLs
Practice Native Language
It might seem counterintuitive, but the summertime is a great opportunity for ELLs to practice their home language. International trips this year might be postponed. Students can still practice speaking their native language at home, reading books in their native language, or learning how to write in their first language.
Being bilingual is a huge asset. Let families know that it is actually beneficial to continue speaking and using their native language. Sometimes families are reluctant to continue speaking their native language at home in the hopes of improving the child’s English skills. Let families know that strengthening literacy skills in a child’s first language will actually help them as they are learning English.
The more students read, the better their reading skills will be. Getting ELLs to read over the summer means helping them to find books that they are interested in, making it fun, finding books that are culturally relevant. With many libraries closed, it might be challenging for students to gain access to books this summer. If you live close to your students, consider creating a Distance Donors Choose project for books. While school buildings are closed you are able to have materials shipped directly to your house. Here are some additional Summer Reading Tips for ELLs and Summer Books from Around the World.
Free Digital Books
International Children’s Library– Books from around the world.
Storyline Online– Videos of picture celebrity actors reading books out loud.
If you are teaching summer school here are some summer-themed digital resources to use with your students.
If you are teaching summer school, or want to send your students materials to use at home, here are some summer-themed print and go materials.