How to Develop an Engaging Summer School Curriculum

Summer school is a tough time for educators. Making a concise curriculum for students is a struggle for many teachers. The material has to be effective and fit in the short timeline of summer school. Designing the curriculum is challenging as it has to meet the requirements of different students. Some of the students that participate in these programs are fast learners, hence the course content should be diverse and informative.The others who haven’t performed well in the class need the curriculum to be precise and concept-oriented.

If you are planning to design a curriculum for a summer class, then you will have to take a different approach to design it. The entire course structure will depend on the intelligence quotient of the students whom you are teaching. There are certain key steps in developing a unique, precise, and engaging summer school curriculum for students taking the course. In this article, we will provide you some guidance in effectively designing a summer school curriculum.

Define the learning goal

Once you have signed up for taking a summer school course, get the educational background of the students that are attending it. Based on their intellect, define the skills that you want to introduce to the students. At the end of the program, the students should be able to demonstrate those skills effectively. This step is important as time is of priority here. For example, if you are taking an English language curriculum, you must focus on reading, writing, and grammar skills. Read about that summer course entirely. Online tutors like Etutorworld organize such summer courses every year for the overall development of students. The students should be able to articulate the reading comprehension and write short research papers on the topic. It is always good to stick to one genre or topic so that the students can grasp the concept easily.

Create a self-contained classroom

Summer schools are different from school classrooms. Students from different diverse backgrounds come to take the program. They have different learning styles, weaknesses, and academic strengths. These students will take time to get comfortable with one another. Thus, the curriculum that you create should be self-sufficient and provide the right academic support to students who aren’t inclusive in the classroom. To achieve this, you can do the following:

  1. Use tools that provide the opportunity to a student to learn at their own pace.
  2. Incorporate independent assignments as well as collaborative projects.

Competency-based lesson plan

Having a competency-based curriculum provides the flexibility that you need in teaching a diverse classroom. You will be able to provide personalized learning opportunities so that the students can progress at their own time and pace. You can do this by:

  1. Guide the students instead of teaching and instructing them.
  2. Use different types of learning technologies so that you can individualize learning for each student.
  3. Design assignments that give the students the opportunity to explore and discover in a creative environment.

Writing assignments and assessments

You will have to be cautious in creating class assignments and assessments. Since this is not a classroom curriculum and the time is limited, the assignments should be specific. Never give a worksheet that overloads a student. This can create a psychological impact on students. Use simple slides, games, videos, and audio files in creating assignments so that the students can complete it in a fun way. Your goal should be to make the learning simple rather than complex. Moreover, the feedback should be quick as time is limited in a summer program. So you can also think of using short answers and multiple choice questions to create the assessments.


The summer schools are mostly offered to improve academic skills. But at the same time it also offers opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds to interact with one another. They also get to engage in courses that interest them. While designing the course you can incorporate enrichment elements related to art, leadership, and technology. The class activities can be designed to teach life skills like self-confidence, leadership, etc. You needn’t keep them confined in the walls of a classroom. Take one session at an off-site location to make it more interactive and fun.

Invite achievers

To make the summer classes more fun, you can invite some achievers to share their experience. Connect with community people and invite them to speak to the students to encourage them. This will bring in the real-world element that will keep your students engaged. The normal school classrooms don’t provide such an opportunity to kids. Adding this element in your curriculum will keep the students engaged and motivate them to learn more. If your budget is limited, then you can engage in community partnerships also. Meeting an achiever in their area of interest will bring positivity in a student’s mind-set.

Easy implementation

The more interactive your curriculum is the more your students will love it. Time is of the essence in a summer program, hence the learning tools, and projects should be easy to implement. You can use tools that don’t require expertise to operate during classes. Make best use of technology that will allow students to self-guide so you can focus on children having a slow learning rate. The students will go back by having one of the best experiences of their life.

Try new things

Summer programs are best to try out new things in the classroom. It can be a new technology, a new curriculum, or a new grading strategy. Get some creative and fresh ideas and try them out to make your sessions more interactive and fun. Trying new ways will also keep you engaged and motivate you in becoming a better educator.

Changing your educational and learning model will help you in overcoming challenges that you are facing in designing a summer school curriculum. Following these steps, you will be able to create an engaging summer school curriculum. This will transform the summer school experience into something fun and fruitful. If you wish to learn more about creating summer school programs, then you can take a deep dive in online resources. Hope your summer school program is a success.