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DoDEA Summer Resources List

School may be out for the summer, but summer is a great opportunity to involve children in different kinds of fun summertime learning adventures.

Summer Resources List

Let the Adventure Begin at Our Information Centers (Library)

Libraries IconRemember our Digital Libraries are available all summer! Please make sure you have a username and password before you leave for the summer. If you don’t already have one please, check with your information specialist and they will be able to help you. Here’s a shortcut for easy access.

Follow Emma as she learns about the awesome GALE Databases you can find online at our DoDEA Information Center. Let the learning adventure begin!

Adventures in Writing
  • Provide your child with a stamped addressed postcard or envelope addressed to you or someone important in your child’s life to write (or draw and write) a note about their summer adventures.
  • Great writing ideas for the summer include Nature Journals, Recipe Share, Travel Brochure, Make a Magazine, and Write to Your Favorite Author.
Adventures in Reading
  • Make it a ritual and read to your child every night. If either you or your spouse is deployed – create a video having him/her reading a favorite book to your child. Your child can read along every evening.
  • Have your child create a video reading a book to share with a deployed parent or a friend or family member who they don’t see often.
  • Create summer trading cards about characters in books as a fun and interactive way for your child to dig deeper into reading. Index cards work great or your kids might enjoy using an online Trading Card Creator from a Google search.
  • Join a summer reading program and Read! Read! Read!
Adventures in Social Studies
  • Encourage your child to be an active citizen by participating in community service activities in the local or global community. Online you can find great ideas for kids to “zoom” into action.
  • Read about the world at a news site for kids. There are lots of option in the school database ask your school librarian how to access these over the summer. Ask your kids to write down questions about the news to ask at dinner, in the car, or at another time when some of the family is together.
  • Explore the local community. Gather information about your local community and take your child on field trips. Older children can do the research and tell you what sites they would like to visit. They can work on mapping skills by reading an actual map or the map app on your phone to help guide the adventure. Have them take pictures of the trip and create a photo journal.
Adventures in Science
  • Grow a garden and build your child’s research, writing, and reading skills. A resource to support you and your child in growing a garden is the DoDEA Library Databases. Ask the librarian how to access over the summer. Make a science notebook and have your child record the observations of the plant growth.
  • Visit the zoo and learn about the animals and their habitats. Use the zoo map to work on map reading skills. If you don’t have a zoo near your base search online for a zoo with a webcam so your child can be part of the action. Make a science notebook and have your child record the observations of the animals and plants.beaker
  • Go on a nature walk together and collect rocks, leaves, bugs, etc. and research, read and write about the collection. Sort and classify the collection based on the properties (size, shape, color, texture, etc.).
  • Use a science notebook to record daily observations of the weather and changes in the sky. Be sure to check the moon each night and record the changes observed over time.
  • Encourage your child to think like an engineer by creating a blueprint to design a bridge or a vehicle using household items (such as straws, pasta, playdough, notecards, paper, tape, crackers, etc.). After completing the design process, your young engineer can construct the project using the household objects. Next, they should test their design (test the bridge to see how much weight it will hold; test the vehicle to see how far it will travel). Using the results of the test, challenge them to improve their design.
Adventures in Civics
  • Government BuildingThe summer is a great opportunity for middle and high school students to make a difference in their community by finding volunteer opportunities to make a difference in their local and global community.
  • Historical Thinking and Geographic Reasoning Take time in the summer to explore local historic sites and museums. Students in the Americas, the Pacific, and in Europe have incredible learning opportunities inside and outside of the gate. Challenge your students to map it out. Another opportunity to explore the community is with Geocaching. You can find out more about Geocaching by an internet search with the key word "Geocaching" and the name of your community.
Adventures in Economics
  • Use the summer to learn about the stock market. Your student can select a few stocks to track and determine how their money would have done if they had actually invested. An internet search with the key words "Stock Market Game" or "Economics for Kids" to find links to resources to support your student in learning about economic policy and the stock market. If your child has a job over the summer consider having them open an account at local bank.
Adventures in Math

For 1-5 Graders

  • Look for patterns and repeating numbers/shapes/words in daily activities – for example every sentence in the book they read starts with “There was a”, every flower on a plant in the garden has 5 petals, or boxes are made out of rectangles.
  • Have your 3rd -5th grade children help read a recipe, measure ingredients, and halve/double the recipe to practice how fractions and measurement are used in real-world situations.
  • Use playing cards to play a variety of counting and computation games – some examples can be found by an online search using the keywords Math Games with a Deck of Cards.
  • abacusPractice basic addition and subtraction facts using games, dice, counters, etc.
    • entering 1st Grade – Facts to 5
    • entering 2nd Grade – Facts to 10
    • entering 3rd Grade – Facts to 20
    • entering 4th and 5th Grade - Multiplication and Division facts

For 6-8 Graders

  • Provide problem solving situations for students to practice adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals (For example: money, percent off, tax, tip)
  • Use NCTM Illuminations-Interactives to practice middle school fluency
    • Algebra Tiles, Pan Balance (Algebraic Thinking)
    • Pick-A-Path (Operations with Integers)
    • Plotter-The-Penguin (Coordinate Graphing)

For 9-12 Graders

  • Take the time to highlight mathematics and numeracy in daily tasks. This can be done in measuring fractions of quantities for recipes and determining how to scale them, figuring out what a discount of a given percent would mean for a purchase, figuring average speed over a drive, etc.
  • Explore using Desmos and Geogebra to model situations happening around you. Both are free resources that act as graphing calculators and dynamic geometry software. In particular, use Geogebra to explore how congruence and similarity are defined by transformations in the plane, and use Desmos perhaps to determine if there is a correlation between two sets of data, like number of ads for a political campaign vs public support for that campaign based on polling numbers.
  • Take time to read news articles about current events, sports, etc. and pay particular attention to facts supported by graphs, statistics, and the like. Try and determine the validity of the information presented using what you know about math.
Adventures in the Arts & Music
  • WatercolorsVisit a Blue Star Museum. Blue Star Museums are a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and museums across America. Each summer since 2010, Blue Star Museums have offered free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. If you can’t find a museum near you - your child can explore and create at the National Gallery of Art online.
  • Every day we engage in a variety musical experiences, such as listening to our favorite songs at home or being emotionally connected by the music in a movie. Fortunately, summertime brings many musical experiences that can serve as a way to improve musical understanding and make lasting connections. To enrich these musical encounters, encourage your child to sing, drum, and move with the music. Further, seek live music, which is plentiful in the summer months. Military bands, community ensembles, drum corps, choirs, folk musicians, and many other music groups provide free music at concerts, fairs, parks, and other events all summer long. Enjoy these experiences and take a moment to discuss each musical adventure with your child. Then, encourage them to describe the event and elicit their impressions through art, writing, or song. 
Adventures in Literacy
Open Book
  • Download the Overdrive app and log on to AudioFile to take advantage of SYNC - a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. SYNC gives away two complete audiobook downloads a week - pairs of high interest titles, based on weekly themes.
  • Take advantage of reading programs at your local library.
Adventures in Science & Engineering (For 6-12 Graders)
  • Explore careers related to science and engineering. Think of a scientific phenomenon that you find interesting or think of a problem that needs to be solved. Research what type of scientist and/or engineer would work on this in their career and what type of course would help you pursue that as a career.
  • DNASelect a type of organism for study (plants, birds, insects, fish, etc.) over the summer. Record observations and collect photos. There are many apps available to help with identification. At the end of the summer, analyze your observational data to identify trends and patterns.
  • Find a news article about a challenge in our world that could be addressed by advancements in science and engineering. Read the article and conduct additional research about what citizens can do to support the further advancement of science and engineering to bring about improvements to our world.