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Summer Learning Challenges


Welcome to our 2021 Summer Learning Challenges! 

Thank you for signing up for our 2021 Summer Learning Challenges. These activities are meant to keep your student engaged with academic content over the summer through fun learning games and activities. 

How to use this site:

Sets of weekly activities are posted on Mondays beginning June 7. Each week has a summer-related theme and will contain reading materials/read alouds, reading activities, and math activities. Any materials required for the activities should be located in the kit sent home at the end of the school year with all students who signed up for the program. 
Your student may do as many or as few of the activities as they/you would like. We recommend one activity per day, alternating between reading and math along with 15-20 minutes of free reading from a library book or a book from home.
*** Reminder - The Elementary Library Media Center will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays in June and July from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm. Books for students in grades PreK - 8 will be available! ***


Weekly Challenges and Activities


Summer Fun!

Reading Materials

Summer-themed read alouds, articles, and books for students. Read these or some of your own!
K-2 Read-Aloud Videos | 3-6 Nonfiction Articles | 3-6 Epic Collection*
  |   |  
And Then Comes Summer | Far-out Flavors | Summer Fun Collection
  |   |  
On the First Day of Summer Vacation | Esports on the Rise |
To access the Epic collection, go to the link above and use the code: jtu1761 
Then search and choose the student's name. 
  |   |
Summer Days and Nights |   |
*The Epic collection is only available for incoming 3rd - 6th graders. 


Reading Activities

The reading activities are meant to go along with the reading materials above. However, many of them can be adapted to any book or story your child is currently reading. Please feel free to do all or part of any of the activities.
K-2 Activities   3-6 Activities

Planning for Summer!


In the stories you read or listened to you saw all kinds of fun things to do in the summer.  What are some of your favorite activities?  Share them with your family and make a plan to do one of these activities.  Think about what you will need in your plan.




E-sports camps are making it big this summer.  Instead of going to camp to play outside, swim, and do other fun activities, many parents are sending their kids to e-sports camp.  The kids that attend that kind of camp want to become professional gamers. 

Read the article and then complete either the scavenger hunt activity or the Venn diagram activity below. 

  • Option 1: E-Sports Camp Scavenger Hunt
  • Option 2: Create a Venn diagram outside with your sidewalk chalk.  Remember a Venn diagram is two circles that intersect.  See the example below. Create one side of the diagram to list what you learned about e-camp.  In the other circle list what you know already about regular summer camp or even a sports camp you have attended.  Put the information about what is the same about both types of camps in the middle of the two circles that intersect. 
Venn diagram

ABC Challenge!


Can you make a list?  Make a list using your ABCs to create a list of summer words.  Use your notebook to make your first one.  If you can’t write yet, get someone in your family to write the words as you come up with them!  Then tell them why that word goes with the theme summer.  Try and think of really unusual words!  If you can’t think of “summer words” help your family make a shopping list using your ABCs.


Here is an example of one:

A - airplane - You might travel to a vacation spot this summer, or even visit your grandma and grandpa’s house. 

B - beach - The beach is a perfect place to spend some time in the summer!

C - cool - Sometimes it is hard to stay cool during the summer!




How Would the Story Change?

All of the stories you listened to have to do with summer.  How would the story change if the setting were different? (Setting is where and when a story or scene takes place) Think about the changes in the story if it was fall, what might you be doing during that season?  Winter?  Spring?  Would you spend time in other places?  Use the sidewalk chalk from your learning packet and draw a picture of your favorite activity in summer and choose one of the other settings to draw a picture of your favorite activity in that season too! 



Ice Cream Treat!


Ice cream is a great treat during the hot, hot summer.  The article choice in your reading links included a good article and video about different unusual ice cream flavors.  If you choose to read the article “Far Out Ice Cream”, choose one of these two activities to do!


  • Take notes while watching the video "A Trip to the Ice Cream Factory." Use the information you learned in the video to create a "How to" for making ice cream. Be sure to include step-by-step instructions and use linking words like first, then, next, and last.
  • Design your own wacky ice cream flavor! Make a list of your flavor's ingredients and determine its cost. Then create an ad for your new flavor to encourage people to try it!







Planning for Summer!


Summer is a fun time to plan for family activities.  Plan a whole day and make a schedule of your activities.  Start with waking up, think about what time that might be.  Are you a late sleeper or early riser?  Then plan the rest of your day complete with times and details.  Your plan can be something you can really do or one that is totally from your imagination.  You choose how to plan the perfect summer day!   


Here is an example of a schedule!  Now make your own.

  • 7:00 am – kids wake up, get dressed, come down stairs, start breakfast 
  • 7:30 am – breakfast.
  • 8:00 am – play in the house, 
  • 9:00 am – head outside to the park, pool or adventure of the day.
  • 11:00 am – back home, make lunch.
  • 11:30 am – lunch.
Parents, if you want to read an article that gives you ideas, go to this Best Summer Schedule for Kids That You Can Print and Use Daily



Math Activities

Beach Ball Math (K-6)

Beach balls are fun throughout the year, but they are easy to find in stores during summer!  You will use the beach ball in your learning packet and create a game using the ball and black marker in your learning packet.  Think about what you might need to practice and get some help from a parent or older brother or sister.  Whatever types of problems you choose to put on the beach ball, you follow this same set of directions.  Throw the ball to a partner.  Wherever their right thumb lands they have to solve the problem, it might be naming the number or solving an equation or problem.  For those doing addition, subtraction or multiplication, find the numbers that are closest to your thumbs and then add, subtract, multiply or divide.  Here are some pictures to help you decide how to use your beach ball for some summer fun math review! 

Beach ball examples



Number Line Fun (K-6)

A number line is a great way to practice many math skills.  In this math challenge, you will go outside and use your sidewalk chalk to draw a number line. In this great post from Math Geek Mama, she provides the following instructions for using a number line to play games at multiple levels.  Enjoy!

Sidewalk Chalk Number Line Race



Sidewalk Chalk Jumping Math Maze Challenge (2-6)

Here is another activity that works best for students in grades 2-6 and is from the same great blog.  This link provides all of the instructions for playing the game called Jumping Maze Math.

Sidewalk Chalk Jumping Maze Math Challenge



Tic Tac Tens (K-6)

Materials: regular dice and paper Skills: Making Tens, Making Hundreds, and Making Ones (decimals)

Watch the video here to learn how to play three different levels of the same game!




Knock Off the Clock (K-6)

Materials: regular dice and/or cards, paper Skills: Operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) or number sense

Watch the video here to learn how to play this game!



Bonus Activities!

Think-a-grams Challenge!

These are common phrases in word puzzles. Can you figure them out? 


Fun Summer Family Activities

All you need is a little space and sunshine for these activities that get kids moving.

  • Build a water blob or a slip 'n slide. ...
  • Build an obstacle course in the backyard. ...
  • Climb trees together. ...
  • Fly a kite. ...
  • Go fishing. ...
  • Have a bubble gum bubble blowing contest. ...
  • Have a water balloon baseball game. ...
  • Have a water gun race.
  • Have a picnic at the playground.
  • Kick off your day with donuts and smoothies at the park.
  • Host a cookout.
  • Roast marshmallows over a campfire and make s'mores.
  • Camp out in your backyard.
  • Go for a family bike ride.
  • Have a water gun or water balloon battle.


100 Fun Summer Ideas for Kids and Parents


Want to let us know what you did this week? Fill out this quick form.


Enjoy your summer and don’t forget to practice what you learned in school this year!



Virtual Vacation!

Reading Materials 

Summer-themed read alouds, articles, and books for students. Read these or some of your own!
K-2 Read-Aloud Videos | 3-6 Nonfiction Articles | 3-6 Epic Collection*
  |   |  
Imagination Vacation | The Search for Pirate Gold | Vacation Collection
  |   |  
Maisy Goes on Vacation | Space Vacation |
To access the Epic collection, go to the link above and use the code: jtu1761 
Then search and choose the student's name. 
  |   |
Timmy's Terrific Travels |   |
*The Epic collection is only available for incoming 3rd - 6th graders. 

Reading Activities

The reading activities are meant to go along with the reading materials above. However, many of them can be adapted to any book or story your child is currently reading. Please feel free to do all or part of any of the activities.
K-2 Reading Activities
Imagination Vacation Maisy Goes on Vacation Timmy's Terrific Travels

In this story, a family each wants to go to a different place in the world.  As you listen to the story, think about a place that you would most like to go by using your imagination! 


After you listen, complete some of these activities.


In this story, Maisy the mouse goes on a vacation! Her vacation takes her to the beach. She is visiting her grandma’s house.
Use this story to help you complete some of the following activities!
In this story, Timmy travels around the world.  He sees many interesting places and lots of famous sites.  Pay attention as you read or listen to this story and see if you can name some of the countries he visits. One clue is a tiny picture of a flag at the top of the page, it will tell you where Timmy is in the world. 

Choose a Place to Go:


Where did you decide you want to visit? Can your family pick one spot or is everyone interested in visiting their own spot?  Let’s work on the place you chose.


  • Where are you going? 
  • What do you most want to see there?


You can even do some research with the help of an adult or older brother or sister.  Find out all you can about the place you are most interested in seeing!

Grandparents' House:

Have you ever visited your grandma and grandpa’s house? 

What do you call them? Do you have a different name like Mimi for grandma and Pops for grandpa? 


Talk with your family about how they got their nicknames or why you call them what you do.

Traveling with Timmy:
Once you have finished the story, talk with someone in your family and tell them which place Timmy visited that you would like to visit too.
  • Why did you choose that place? 
  • What kinds of things might you see? 
  • Are there any famous landmarks?

Getting Ready to Go:


You will need to pack a suitcase for your imaginary vacation. Play this game with your family. Here is how:

The first person starts the game by saying “I packed my suitcase with my”……. and thinks of an item they choose to put in - like a teddy bear. The next person will repeat the sentence  “I packed my suitcase with my "teddy bear and chooses their own item to add on like pajamas. The next person would then repeat the phrase “I packed my suitcase with my teddy bear and pajamas" then adds their own idea. The game continues by repeating the phrase and each person adding another item each time until someone can’t remember all the items added.

Make a List for your Trip:
What items might you take to the beach?  Make a list of 10 important things you might need.  Be sure to think of things to eat, things for play, and anything else you might want to have.
Write the list in your notebook provided in your learning packet!
Name the Countries:
How many of the countries can you name that he visited? Can you make a list or have someone help you make a list?
After you make the list, listen to the story again to see if you got them all!
Write a Postcard:
Use a notecard from your learning packet to make a postcard to tell a friend what you've been doing on your vacation!
On one side write what you did, on the other side, draw a picture of something you saw, did, or wanted to do. If you can’t write, have someone older help you write a postcard.


Retell the Story:
Read the story of Maisy and retell the story to someone in your family.  What happened first, next, and last?  This is called sequencing.  It is a big word but it just means thinking about what happened at the beginning of the story, the middle, and the end. Make and fill in this simple graphic organizer with the help of someone in your family!  (Click the picture for a printable version.)
Graphic Organizer
Explore on a Map:
Now that you know what countries you are looking for, it is time to find the cities on a map! 
Using the map below, can you chart Timmy’s travels? Either:
  • Use your finger to trace Timmy's travels on the map OR
  • Print the map and put it inside your learning sleeve. First, draw a line with your dry erase marker in your learning packet to trace where Timmy went. Then, draw a line to show the trip you would like to take.
(Click the picture to enlarge or print.)

If you want to play a game with an adult that helps generate this type of map, try it here! Where in the World?

3-6 Reading Activities
The Search for Pirate Gold Space Vacation

How would you like to take a vacation to hunt for hidden treasure?  Sounds like fun but also like a lot of work! 

In this article, you will find out about a ship that sank in 1717. It was a Pirate ship filled with silver and gold.  300 years later, someone discovered the wreckage and the buried treasure.  Explore this historical event and connected activities!

How about the ultimate vacation - a trip to the International Space Station! NASA announced that this might soon be a reality!  For a few dollars, $35,000 per night, to be exact, you can go and stay on the International Space Station yourself and stay for as long as 30 days!  How does that sound?  In this article, you will get insight into what that vacation might look like!
Getting to Know Storyworks:
In Storyworks you can change the level of reading to match the one that fits you best.  On the right side bar, change the reading level to the one that is best for you.  Look below for an example of what you will see and the options you have to choose from.

There are also additional tabs to explore. You can get background information about the ship and sunken treasure and you can even do additional challenges based on the story! Click on the Resources tab to get more information about the sunken Pirate Ship along with several projects that might interest you!



Astronauts Wanted:

After you read this article, do a bit more research about how an astronaut on the International Space Station spends his/her day. 

You can find that information on this site: How does an astronaut spend their day?

Now we know a bit about how astronauts spend their day, let’s look closer at what they can’t do in space! 

What Astronauts Can't Do in Space!

When you are finished with your research, write a job posting looking for Astronauts that want to travel to the International Space Station to work. A job posting is a short article or advertisement that explains about a job and why people should apply for it. Let them know about the job and the responsibilities they will have!

Artifact Brainstorm:
Artifacts are treasures from the past.  Whether buried undersea (sunken treasure) or buried in the ground or a cave, what would be the most interesting types of artifacts for you to search for?  Think about it using the wheel below. In the center, place the name of the place you are searching for treasure. Then in each section, type a different kind of artifact you might find there. Describe it and why it would be considered special or valuable.
brainstorm wheel(Click the picture to enlarge or print.)
Space Station Fact or Fib:

Want to know even more about the space station?  Check out twenty questions answered here:  20 FAQ's about the International Space Station


Once you've read the questions and their answers, you can play Fact or Fib!


Use 3 or 4 index cards from your learning packet. On each card write 2 facts and 1 fib about the International Space Station. (That means 2 things that are true and 1 thing that you make up!) Once you've made all your cards, challenge someone to see if they can pick out the fib on each card! 


Example Card:

Fact or Fib

Fun Pirate Games!
Space and Slime

Nickelodeon sent some of their famous green slime to the International Space Station for the Astronauts to study! Watch these videos to see what happened:



Then think about these things. Write the answers in your journal.

  • Why would scientists study slime on the International Space Station? 
  • How does slime react in space?
  • What other thing might you want to send to space to study?



Math Activities

K-2 3-6
Junior Star Traveler

Great addition and subtraction game for K-2 using dice and cards from your learning packet.

Click here for the video and demonstration of how to play!

Slime Recipes!

Following a recipe is great practice for math! It requires you to measure ingredients and even use fractions. Can you follow a recipe and make slime yourself? Let’s try one of these recipes for slime!  Measure carefully!


If you don't have the ingredients for slime, don't worry! Just choose a different math activity this week. You can always come back to this activity later.
Subtraction Track
Fun subtraction game you play with a partner. Click here for the video and demonstration of how to play.
Beach Ball Math
Since the beach is often a vacation destination, use the beach ball you made last week with the materials in your learning packet and play a game with it again. Look back at last week's activities if you need instructions for how to play.
Divide and Conquer
Use your deck of cards from your learning packet to practice your division facts with this fun game! Here's a video that shows you how to play!
Simple Cart Sort (PreK and K)
Using the cards in your deck from your learning packet, sort the cards that are the same, you can sort by color or number.  How many of each can you find?
Pick 3

This card game is great for older students, but can work for younger kids too. This game is best played in pairs, but could be done in larger groups if needed.

In this game, students will first lay out the cards randomly, face down. (Face cards should be removed, or assigned a value). One student will randomly turn over 3 cards. If they can make a number sentence out of the 3 cards (for example, 3 + 5 = 8), they get to keep all 3 cards. If not, they turn them back over and it is the next student’s turn.

Whoever ends the game with the most cards wins!

Pick 3 Layout
Road Trip Games
Here are a few math games to play while in the car!
  • Numbers to 100 - Just like the Alphabet Game, try to find numbers in order from 1 to 100 on road signs, license plates, maps, etc. This game can be played at any level. Adjust the number down to 20 for young children or up to 200 for older children.

  • What’s My Number? - A mystery number guessing game! Click here to find more information about how to play: What's My Number?
  • Shape Search: Choose different two- and three-dimensional shapes and find them all around as you are driving. You can start with a triangle and work your way up to different-sided shapes, like an octagon. Kids love searching for shapes in the real world.


Fun Bonus Activities!

Roadworthy Car Games from Scholastic

For kids on a road trip, there is plenty of time to play reading and math games. Here are a few ideas.

For grades K–3:

  • Car bingo: Create a car bingo card with words, shapes, colors, and items that children will likely see during a trip (stop signs, billboards, railroad signs, etc.) to reinforce reading skills, math, and sight words.
  • The number game: Look out the window and call out when you see one, two, three, or four of something, and so on.
  • The alphabet game: One person chooses the right side of the road, and the other chooses the left. Call out objects that you see in alphabetical order (you can use a sign only for one letter). The first person to get to the letter "z" wins.

For grades 4–8:

  • Capital game: Take note of each license plate you see, not by state, but by state capital. The first to correctly identify 10 state capitals wins.
  • Cow game: One person takes the right side of the road, the other takes the left. Keep count of all the cows you see. You earn one point for each cow. When you see a cemetery out of your side of the car, you lose all your points.
  • Animals galore: Decide on a number of points for each animal that you see (cow = 1 point, horse = 1 point, pig = 2 points, etc.). As you drive, add up the points. Play until one person gets 10 points, or for a set time.
  • Math with license plates: Use the numbers on license plates to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and number patterns and see just how creative kids can get!
Need some more ideas? 
  • Family Science Lab Challenges from the International Space Station (requires extra time and materials)
  • Staycation Ideas! - Things to do at home that still feel like a vacation.
  • Map it Out
    • Before you leave for your trip, have your child map out the route you are traveling. They can calculate the number of miles, total amount of time, and different paths you will take.
    • Your child can monitor your traveling progress along the way and will have a better understanding of when you will be arriving at your destination.
Want to let us know everything you did this week? Fill out this quick form


Additional Resources

Additionally, the sites below contain fun math card games that can be used to supplement any of the weekly learning activities, and don't forget to check out our daily kindness challenges from our counselors!
Dolch Sight Words


The Dolch Sight Words list is the most commonly used set of sight words. Educator Dr. Edward William Dolch developed the list in the 1930s-40s by studying the most frequently occurring words in children’s books of that era. The list contains 220 “service words” plus 95 high-frequency nouns. These words comprise 80% of the words you would find in a typical children’s book and 50% of the words found in writing for adults. Once a child knows this list of words, it makes reading much easier, because the child can then focus his or her attention on the remaining words.


The Dolch words are commonly divided into groups by grade level, ranging from pre-kindergarten to third grade, with a separate list of nouns. There are a total of 315 Dolch Sight Words.

PreK K 1 2 3 Nouns