Updated: Jun 15
Let’s get right back on this idea train, creating modern students via fun summer activities.
Idea #2 - DEEP DIVE
(the activity formerly known as “Summer Research Project”)
Give kids the chance to learn all they can about a topic that interests them. Make plans together of ways that you can learn more about this topic. You can even incorporate it into your summer vacation plans if you’re traveling. For example, if they’re studying dolphins, visit a dolphin sanctuary, swim with dolphins at a local aquarium, see an aquatic show, or even call and speak to a marine biologist - you’ll be surprised how many people are willing to share their knowledge if you just ask!
Within these parameters, you can teach kids skills like library skills, using a card catalog, researching in the library, proper online research, the validity of resources, bias, citations, organization of facts vs. thoughts, brainstorming, critical thinking, analysis, application, interview skills, learning through observation, gleaning from presentations or shows/videos, and so much more.
Plus, it keeps their eyes peeled, and their ears perked for any mention of this topic. As they begin to research, they can even make a bubble chart showing the many extensions of this particular topic, which also supports brainstorming for future writing activities or projects.
Accommodations: Let the deep dive be what it needs to be. There are no rules to follow. If your student wants to watch 100 videos about SpaceX, summer is a great time for that - just spread it out with boundaries. Then slowly introduce other ways to learn, like looking at pictures in books and talking about them or visiting a place to hear and see more about that topic. Let them guide you when possible.
Extension: Fire them up with a heated issue or injustice. There’s nothing tweens and teens like better than a good fight, especially with the opportunity to prove themselves right…or at least knowledgeable. This will probe into socio-emotional issues and give you a chance to explore emotional regulation as well, giving them proper outlets for their outrage. It’s a GREAT way to discuss social media etiquette, including IF, when, and how you should respond to posts online, and IF, what, and how you should post yourself.