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Spring Break (And Other Times!) Exploration Ideas for Middle School Students

April 14, 2020 | Abby Hall Choi

Is your Middle School student looking for something to do during this time of social distancing? Here are some options from our teachers.

Interdisciplinary Powered by commonsense, a collection of free online tools

We Are Teachers  List of podcasts (sorted for youngest students to oldest students)

Movies, podcasts, video games, and music recommendations for older Middle School students Mr. Harris’ list of recommendations


Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls LEGO, STEM and other ideas for kids

Museum Of Math They have lots of great math activities. They have a great page called Family Fridays

Khan Academy

Fine Arts

Metropolitan Opera Nightly Streams Free opera!

Britain’s National Theatre Live Streams

The Show Must Go On Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Youtube Channel streaming productions of his musicals for free

Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall Free orchestral concerts!

Alvin Ailey Dance 

Lincoln Center Video Wonderful videos from New York City Ballet, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Julliard School, and other Lincoln Center venues

10 Virtual Museum and Art Gallery Tours View some of the best artworks around the world

Recreate a Work of Art Use what you can find at home for this challenge!

Doodle with Mo WIllems 15 episodes (20 min each) with the illustrator of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 

Language Arts

Khan Academy

Audible Stories Free audiobooks for children and teens

Harry Potter at Home Free Harry Potter content from JK Rowling herself. A Poem a Day and more

Globe Theater’s Shakespeare on Demand 

Shakespeare in the Park’s Much Ado About Nothing Streaming on PBS for free (expires 5/26).


Keep Curiosity Alive: STEM activities Here is a compilation all aimed at keeping curiosity and a love of learning alive and well during this unusual time! From the Van Andel Institute of Education.

Access Mars -360 views of Mars courtesy of NASA’s Curiosity Rover

Ask a Stevens Prof  Live Webinars for k-12 students on STEM topics (recorded webinars farther down on page)

Zoo Webcams:

American Museum of Natural History Meet the Ologist

Kennedy Space Center Online The space center’s educational portal.

Air and Space Museum Online

Skype a Scientist From the website: “Do you want to chat with a scientist over video chat from your living room? We will match you with a scientist for free! These sessions are q&a conversations, so you and your kids/roommates can talk with a scientist about what makes YOU curious.” 

Note: if you don’t want to give out your number/email, there are plenty of videos on the Skype a Scientist Youtube page.

PBS Nova Labs From their website: “NOVA Labs is a free digital platform that engages teens and lifelong learners in games and interactives that foster authentic scientific exploration.” Topics include the polar ice caps, evolution, and cyber security.

Frost Science @ Home Science-related videos, lessons and DIY tutorials (suitable for younger kids too).

Hayden Planetarium’s Skylight Youtube Page A series of educational videos about Skylight, a “3-D atlas of the universe”.

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum’s Virtual Tours and Talks


Learn How to Write Your Name in Egyptian Hieroglyphs

American Museum of Natural History Online Tours, videos, quizzes, games and more.

  • Parents with younger kids should check out ology, the museum’s kid-friendly site.    

Smithsonian’s Open Access Hub Center for much of the Smithsonian’s online content.

Because Her Story The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, online.

Native Knowledge 360 The National Museum of the American Indian’s online lessons and activities.

The National Museum of American History’s History Explorer A trove of history resources including videos, podcasts, lessons, and more.

Washington’s Mount Vernon Virtual Tour

Historic Ships of Baltimore Virtual Tour

Jefferson’s Monticello Virtual Tour

Other Typing program (does have pop up ads)

Codecademy From the Website: “Take lessons on writing simple commands in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, Python and  Ruby.” 

16 Card Games If you need some time away from the screen…  (mostly for younger 4th and 5th grade)

Movie Recommendations from MSS Parents


Abby Hall Choi

Middle School Director

Abby Choi likes thinking about how people work together. She believes that students and teachers always want to offer their best work, but sometimes obstacles get in the way. She enjoys finding solutions that enable students and teachers to thrive.

Ms. Choi values caring for the whole person. She believes it’s most important that everyone knows they are God’s child and loved all the time, no matter what. She also thinks that students and teachers are interdependent and need to take care of each other.
She challenges our school community to consider how teachers and students can practice having fun, autonomy, competence, and also build relationships.

Ms. Choi really likes laughing and strives to find humor in daily life.

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