Some of city’s youngest Matadors are learning to solve mysteries using reading and writing skills during one of Seguin ISD’s newest MatCamps.

From escape rooms to sack relays learning can, at last, be fun for the kids at the Matador Mysteries camp.

Located at the Mercer Blumberg Learning Center, Matador Mysteries is a summer program designed to help kids from kindergarten through fifth grade hone their reading and writing skills in a creative setting.

“Matador Mysteries is a program to help give elementary school kids some time to have extra exposure to reading and writing during the summer,” Barnes Middle School reading interventionist Laura Patranella said. “They really have had a great time, everyone’s been really on task.”

Throughout the week, camp goers participated in activities varying from escape rooms to interactive read aloud’s.

“Each morning, as the students are participating in a read aloud, they are asked questions and encouraged to make predictions as a way to engage them,” Patranella said.

To really get the students engaged, the camp’s organizers create escape room scenarios, and have the students work in teams to find their way out using the skills they’ve learned, Patranella said.

“We’ve split up our days where one day we’ve done escape rooms which is where they’re working together to practice things like homophones,” she said. “Another day we focused on growth mindset, which is the idea that you can become better at reading and writing or even math. Today we’re focusing on prefixes and suffixes and base words.”

As scholastic as it all sounds, teachers have worked tirelessly to keep the program engaging for students. Student Avery McCown said she especially enjoyed the escape room activity.

“We have to use problem-solving skills,” she said. “They will give us a riddle and an envelope and we’ll have to open the envelope with the correct word on it. Then, in the end, there’s a problem and you solve it.”

On the last day of Matador Mysteries, the students were treated to several outdoor learning activities in the form of sack relay races and water sports, all of which were designed to promote reading and writing skills.

“They were going to do two stations to introduce the ideas of Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes and then they’re going to apply what they have learned outside jumping through hoops and over hurdles as they dissect words,” Patrnella said.


Joe Martin is a staff writer for the Seguin Gazette. You can e-mail him at .

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