Lesson Planning and Activities for the Extended School Year

The extended school year is a time when our learners have the opportunity to maintain the skills that they have learned throughout the school year. My team and I also strongly believe that it is a great time to encourage more play and fun. It is summertime and the weather is getting nicer, so including outside and functional lessons helps work on life skills that may be less of a focus throughout the school year. In this post, I will share ideas we work on throughout the ESY time and a sample weekly lesson plan!


Academic maintenance of skills


During ESY, we continue small groups, large groups, and 1:1 work times with maintenance schedules per learner. We also incorporate lessons that teach new skills. The new skills that we are tracking are not expected to be mastered during the ESY season, however, they do help our learners get a jump start before the next school year. While we encourage more fun in lessons and increase opportunities for play, academics and data tracking are still important to include daily. The following literacy and math skills are some that we focus on for maintenance in our kindergartners. 


  • letter sounds
  • Segmenting
  • Blending
  • Decoding
  • Vocabulary



  • number identification
  • Counting using 1:1
  • Quantifying

Functional routines and life skills opportunities 

Maintenance schedules and progress monitoring opportunities for functional routines is important throughout ESY.  The following functional routines and life skills are some that we focus on for maintenance in our kindergarteners during ESY. 


Functional routines:

  • washing hands
  • Transitions
  • Leisure
  • Small group
  • Feeding
  • Bathrooming
  • Arrival and dismissal
  • Using an individual picture schedule 


Life skills: 

  • Sorting laundry
  • Loading a dishwasher
  • Unloading a dishwasher
  • Vacuuming (which can occasionally be a reinforcer!)
  • Cutting fruits and vegetables
  • Setting a table
  • Cleasning up after meal time

Play and fun


Having fun and including opportunities for play and leisure is important throughout ESY.  We have found that our staff and learners have more relaxed demeanors in the summer months and engaging in play (both adults and peers) is great! The following play skills are some that we focus on for maintenance in our kindergartneers during ESY. 



  • Sharing
  • Taking turns
  • Functional play
  • Problem solving
  • Solving a conflict with a peer 
  • Communicating with peers and teachers
  • Requesting 

Reinforce! It’s summer time and although learning is necessary, so is having fun! This is a time to track reinforcing items that may be changing for our learners or may continue throughout the next school year. We focus on maintenance of skills and fun throughout our time in ESY. Here is a link to some of out large group activities in a weekly lesson plan. 

1 Comment

  1. Where did the what’s wrong cards come from. I like them?


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