When it as hot as it has been in the Southeast lately, reading is a great activity. If you want to add some educational lessons to your middle schooler's summer reading, the Boston public television station, WGBH, has some useful online lessons to teach literacy schools. Entitled Inspiring Middle School Literacy, and funded by Walmart, these self-paced digital lessons combine video, interactive exercises, and writing to hone such skills as constructing summaries, distinguishing fact from opinion, categorization, comparing and contrasting items, etc. They are designed for students in grades 5-8, and are also arranged by content areas: English Language Arts, Science and Health Topics, and Social Studies Topics.
Check them out on the WGBH website.