Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

da Vinci Logo imageda Vinci Arts Middle School

Creative minds for
challenging times.

2508 NE Everett Street | Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (503) 916-5356 | Fax: (503) 916-2721

Enrichment Activities for Students When Away From School

Whenever possible, da Vinci encourages families to plan family events, vacations and travel around the school calendar so that children do not miss the continuity of classroom learning. We appreciate that it is not always possible for families to schedule certain activities around our school calendar. We also acknowledge that certain experiences outside of the classroom can be equally enriching for students. However, since homework is designed to be a review of classroom work, homework is not prepared and given in advance of such absences. I may request that your child complete some make-up work upon his/her return to assist them in “bridging” what he/she has missed during their absence. Please keep this handy throughout the school year.

Here is a list of academic activities that are educationally relevant and provide fun learning experiences. These activities are strongly encouraged although they are not required or graded. Your child is invited to share what he/she did with their teachers and peers upon his/her return to school.

  1. READ – This can be done at almost anytime, anywhere! Keep up on your Reading Log.
  2. Write in a Journal Everyday – This can include words, stories and pictures about your adventures. Brain Dump while you’re away, reflection can often be the best lesson.
  3. Money Math – Figure out the sales tax when buying things or figure the exchange rate when traveling abroad.
  4. Send a Letter or Postcard – Write to someone you know while on your vacation. We would love to hear from you!
  5. Make Comparisons – Use a Venn diagram or chart to compare how the place you are visiting is similar and different from home.
  6. Make Lists – These can be of many things: new food you tried, rides you rode, people you visited and geographical and historical data.
  7. Be a Photographer – Take photos of you and your family and put them into an album or scrapbook when you get home. Create a photo essay/story of your trip.
  8. Be a Navigator – Help with map reading and keep track of how many miles you traveled. Convert this to kilometers.
  9. Play Games – Look for signs that start with each letter of the alphabet, create an ABC Book of your trip and all you experienced, make up silly rhymes about what you see/do, bring along travel word and number games.
  10. Be an Interviewer – Interview the people you are visiting. Ask them to tell you how their childhood was different from yours. How is it the same?

There are many other activities you can do while away from school. Visiting local museums to learn more about the history of the place you are visiting and calculating time differences from home and your destination are just a couple. What can you add to the list?