TIPS:  Add a Splash of Summer to Your Lesson Planning Process!

There are many factors to consider as part of the lesson planning process. One thing to consider is Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP). The Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practices content area of the Maryland EXCELS Standards addresses the following:

  • Children’s ages
  • Learning domains
  • Children’s individual interests and skills
  • Ongoing observations and assessments
  • Information offered from families
  • Cultural competency
  • Information from an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP), when provided
  • Selection and use of materials

Another factor to take into consideration when lesson planning is the time of year. Take a look at the fun outdoor activity below, perfect for this time of year! This is geared toward children three through five years of age, but can easily be modified for younger or older ages. It supports learning domains such as mathematical and scientific thinking and social studies. Be sure to adapt this activity to include your children’s individual interests and skills, and include information from any IEPs or IFSPs that has been shared with you.

Consider a “Rain Dance Roundup.” Observe the ground, plants, and other outside objects on the first day of the week (whether rainy or dry). Record the children’s observations. Incorporate music and movement into a “rain dance” to either encourage or discourage the rain to fall. Read about customs of other cultures concerning rain and its frequency. Ask each child what their families do on rainy days.  As the week progresses, make further outdoor observations of puddle size and depth, soil moisture, grass/plant growth, air humidity, and even cloud cover. At the end of the week, review what the children have discovered and how rain affects the world (plant growth, fresh water supply, air quality, etc.).

There are many fun summer activities you can enjoy outside as part of your future lesson plans. Take time to consider all the aspects that make a learning experience both valuable and fun for the children in your care.  Reference the above factors when lesson planning to incorporate criteria required in the Developmentally Appropriate Learning and Practices (DAP) content area of the Maryland EXCELS Standards.

Additional Summer Learning Ideas: