Making the SUMMER WORK for Your Students
appeared originally in NAGC's Compass Points a members-only monthly e-newsletter
It is mid-May, and while most of the discussions I have with my students revolve around recreational or travel plans for the summer, I can’t help but insert the suggestion of educational opportunities they may simultaneously encounter. Over the years I have encountered and assigned a myriad of “summer work” assignments, and only recently my colleagues and I settled on incorporating activities the students may already be participating in as part of their work. Many of our high-ability students, like yours, already have a jam-packed summer. In this way, students can recognize learning outside of the classroom, a skill that is all too often lost during the rigor of daily assignments.
The following ten suggestions come from a much larger Summer Work Packet distributed to our incoming seventh-grade and rising eighth-grade students. For more specific directions you can access the packet by clicking here. I hope you will find these suggestions helpful.
- Visit a museum and write a two-paragraph summary of your experience. The first paragraph should be about the museum in general, and the second paragraph should be about the one or two most interesting things you encountered at the museum.
- Conduct an interview with a person who lived in a different country for at least one year since 1980. The goal of your interview is to find out about some of the cultural markers of the country in which the person lived.
- Participate in a class or workshop that may be held at a camp, public library, YMCA, school, youth organization, etc. Upon completion write a two-paragraph summary of your experiences, including what you learned.
- Write a piece of creative writing that could be a collection of poetry, a short play, or a fiction story.
- Attend a performance and create a poster advertising the event OR write a two-paragraph typed review of the event.
- Create a travel advertisement that is either a recorded jingle or a tri-fold brochure about a place you visit this summer.
- Read a young adult novel and develop a creative project to promote the book.
- Design a Reading Timeline of your reading experiences that include at least 10 events from your lifetime, starting from your earliest memory of books and ending in the present.
- Create a Web Page on a well-known scientist or environmentalist.
- Create a Travel Blog to document your travels (real or imaginary) over the summer.
Keep in mind that NAGC has a Resource Directory, complete with suggestions and advice on how to choose summer opportunities that are the right match for your child. I refer many of my students’ parents to this outstanding resource. Check it out today!
Enjoy your summer and be sure to check out June’s installment of Connecting for High Potential in Compass Points, which will focus on engagement during the summer months.
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