Summertime Is the Time for Free Learning Resources! Plus Win Friendship Discussion Starters

Do you have students who are like peanut butter and jelly? No, I don’t mean that they’re sticky. (Well, maybe at lunchtime, just a little). These are kids who are terrific on their own but together make up a dynamic duo. Kids know that everything seems just a little bit better (or a little less worse) with friends by their sides.


Submit a comment to the blog by 11:59 pm EDT Sunday, July 12, 2015, to tell me which of the free resources below are your favorites to keep learning going this summer. One lucky teacher will win a brand-new book and a book/DVD/CD set that are great discussion starters about friendship.


With a Friend by Your Side features lyrical text paired with National Geographic photos to show that friendship is precious and important. Use it as a springboard for antibullying discussions with kids ages 5–9. Then introduce kids ages 3–7 to concepts of tolerance and respect with Peanut Butter and Jellyfish. (I’m giving away the book, DVD, and CD!) Best friends Peanut Butter and Jellyfish have to decide whether to help Crabby when he gets into trouble. Of course they help, demonstrating the value of old and new friendships and being brave enough to apologize.  (Update: congratulations to Darlene, who is the winner of our prize.)


When I think of summertime, I think of picnics and watermelon. So what better way to teach about healthy eating than with free watermelon-related resources? The National Watermelon Promotion Board has a teacher toolkit with resources for all grade levels for language arts, math, social studies, and science; games and activities; recipes; and watermelon facts. Click here to get the juicy details.


Did you know that you can have learning resources from the Smithsonian Institution at your fingertips? You can by registering your students for Smithsonian Quests. More than 100 free, self-directed, project-based activities are available online for all ages. Students earn digital badges while learning about subjects from art to outer space. The program aligns with many environmental education standards as well as national education standards in a variety of subjects. Sign up here.


Let an ant—Energy Ant, that is—help you energize summer learning. The Energy Kids website, hosted by the US Department of Energy, Information Administration, features free activities and information about energy. Students at all grade levels can learn about energy while improving research and reading skills. On the teacher page, you’ll find free lesson plans, a teacher guide, science fair experiments, field trips, and more. Get energized here!


Don’t forget; submit a comment for your chance to win With a Friend by Your Side and Peanut Butter and Jellyfish!


13 thoughts on “Summertime Is the Time for Free Learning Resources! Plus Win Friendship Discussion Starters

  1. The energy website has some interesting activities I think my students will like. Your giveaways are amazing. Any classroom including mine would benefit from having them.

  2. I’m making a transition from 3rd grade teacher to Early College Liaison! I think the Smithsonian resources are a perfect fit!

  3. Watermelon is also my favorite fruit and I love when I can pick up a locally grown one – nothing better! So I guess my favorite this week is the watermelon resources:)

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