Summer Learning Project: IBA, Blackstone Elementary, & Hurley K-8

Essential Question: What is community?

The 4th and 5th grade students at IBA’s Summer Learning site have tackled the question “What is community?” by exploring their very own neighborhood in Boston’s beautiful and culturally-rich South End.  Each wekk, students look forward to a mini excursion in the community.  Past visits have included the nearby health center and police station.  As they visit new places, they log the locations into their journals which they call “map books.”  Mapping out their communities has helped them get to know the area and also been a fun way to create their own personal atlas books.

Students have also visited the Boston Public Library as well as the South End Library.  Their visits to the libraries have kept them focused on one of their weekly themes which revolved around books and libraries.  This theme not only integrates ELA through reading and journaling, but also Math skills as they learn the Dewey Decimal System.

On Fridays, students look forward to more distant field trips around Boston, such as the Franklin Park Zoo.  With each trip, their map books grow!


Students at IBA in a reading circle with a book about different countries.  After finishing a country, they race to the map in front of them to find it!


Facts about the IBA-Blackstone-Hurley Partnership

  • 6 students entering Grade 4
  • 14 students entering Grade 5
  • 2 teachers and 4 non-profit staff collaborating to co-deliver programming
  • Partnership will offer 210 total hours of programming this summer