By: Liz Brooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, chief learning officer of Lexia Learning
Summer is just about here and kids will be enjoying a break from school, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t help them continue learning through the summer.
Research has found that summer break can set students back about a month using a grade-level equivalence scale. The typical summer slide, along with COVID-19 learning loss, has set many students behind a year or two. However, creating educational opportunities, like the ones below, can help start to close this gap while building readers’ literacy skills.
These easy-to-do activities can help set up your child for success:
Beat the Clock– Work with your growing reader to match upper and lowercase letters. Create pairs of word cards, featuring each uppercase letter and each lowercase letter. Shuffle the cards, and lay a set of them face up on a table. Then, it’s time to beat the clock! Have kids make as many uppercase and lowercase letter matches as they can in a minute.
Take a Picture– Build your child’s understanding of story structure with this photo-taking project. Talk about a familiar story, pointing out that it has a beginning, middle, and end. Then, have kids use toys or objects to tell their own story. They should take three photos showcasing story structure. As you look at the pictures together, ask about each part of the story.
Get Artistic– Figurative language, such as similes and metaphors can be tricky. Authors use these comparisons to help readers form pictures in their minds.
- My room is a pigsty.
- My brain is a sponge.
- It’s as light as air.
- She slept like a log.
Have your reader illustrate these examples, and talk about why an author might use them. Look for more examples of figurative language the next time you read together.
Move Your Body– Write some prefixes on the ground with chalk. Have your reader jump to each prefix, read it aloud, and name a word that begins with the prefix. Bonus points for using the word in a sentence!
Here are some common prefixes to try:
Scavenger Hunt– Bulky. Peculiar. Flimsy. Encourage your reader to use describing words like these to help them focus on details and develop a rich vocabulary.
Talk about the meaning of each adjective, have your reader use it in a sentence, and brainstorm related words together. Then, send kids on a scavenger hunt for items that fit each description.
Super Sort– Words can be related to the same topic but have different shades of meaning. Think of the words cool, warm, hot, and boiling. They can all describe water but cover a range of temperatures. Create sets of word cards using words like these, and have your reader sort them across each spectrum. Talk about the subtle differences in meaning.
- Easy → tricky → challenging → grueling
- Silent → quiet → noisy → thunderous
- Drip → trickle → flow → gush
There’s no time like the present to help promote literacy development at home. These activities go beyond just reading a book to or with your child and can benefit them beyond the classroom. For more activities to do with your school-age kids, visit Lexia Learning’s At-Home Resources Hub here.
About the Author
Liz Brooke, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a lifelong learner who is dedicated to empowering educators and supporting students. She has worked as a classroom teacher, a speech language pathologist, and director of intervention at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR). Currently, Dr. Brooke serves as the chief learning officer at Lexia Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company.