To a student, a great teacher can always seem like they have the right words, know how to clearly explain a concept, and plan the best activities to keep the class engaged. How do these teachers do it? Aside from your teaching experience and your love of students, the answer probably depends on lesson planning. Lesson planning is the important behind-the-scenes work teachers do to make learning a reality.
In this lesson planning guide, we explain the importance of lesson planning and show you step by step how to create effective lesson plans for your class.
The importance of study plans
Great lessons usually don't happen by accident. Lesson planning is vital for both teachers and students to ensure class time is well spent. Lesson plans can help teachers:
- Achieve goals:One of the main benefits of lesson planning is that it helps teachers set learning objectives. When you start with goals and plan the lessons to achieve them, you don't have to worry about whether your lessons will help you reach your goals, and the state or school goals, for the class.
- Maximize learning:Without lesson plans to guide teachers, they can waste time figuring out how a lesson is going and what to do next. You can also end the lesson with the thought "I wish I had covered X" or "I wonder if the students understood Z." An effective lesson plan can prevent these scenarios and make every moment in class count.
- With confidence:Confidence can sometimes seem elusive, especially for new teachers. However, it is important to stay confident as you are self-aware.Teachers are more empowered and more effectivein the classroom. Any experienced teacher knows that the more prepared you are with a lesson plan, the more confident you'll feel teaching.
- Inform the deputy:In the event that you can't be at school and need the help of a substitute teacher, a lesson plan takes on new meaning. Giving a sub a detailed lesson plan can help him pick up where she left off and cover the day's planned content so he can stick to his lesson plan.
- Pass lessons to administrators:Teachers sometimes need to share their lesson plans with a school administrator to sign up. This is particularly likely for first-year teachers, who may need to submit their lesson plans to the principal on a weekly basis. Once you've written lesson plans, you can share your plan in an easy format with everyone who needs to see it.
New step-by-step guide for teachers to create a lesson plan
Astudies of future teachersfound that these teachers were aware of the importance of lesson planning, but found the process of developing lesson plans difficult. Lesson planning can seem overwhelming, especially for a beginning teacher, but any teacher can create complete lesson plans by following a series of lesson planning steps.
With these steps, you can feel well-prepared walking into the classroom each day, and your students will benefit from well-planned, effective lessons and a confident teacher.
1. Identify your learning objectives
To create effective lesson plans, teachers need to work backwards, starting with the ultimate goal of the lesson, so they can determine the best way to work toward it. This end goal is often referred to as the learning objective, outcome, or intent. Learning objectives can contain multiple parts or be divided into separate objectives. If your lesson has multiple learning objectives, consider prioritizing them to ensure you hit the most important objective when time is up.
Each learning objective should be concise and specific. A typical format for these objectives is to state what students can do or understand at the end of the lesson. For example, an English lesson plan on the use of the past tense might begin with the goal: "Students will be able to identify the past tense in example sentences and form their own past tense verb forms."
Also keep in mind that your learning objectives must meet the standards of your state or school. Much of the strategy for how teachers meet these standards happens at the unit planning level, but you should keep these standards in mind for any lesson plan.
2. Plan how you will introduce the topic
After you identify your goals, you can focus on how to achieve them. The first part of your plan should be an introduction, also known as the hook or anticipation. Some key elements of a good introduction are:
- Get students' attention:Students may walk into the classroom thinking about the conversation they just had in the hallway or what they are having for lunch. In virtual learning contexts, students can be distracted by technology or what is happening at home. Teachers need to start by grabbing students' attention and redirecting their brains from other things to the topic at hand. For example, some teachers play a short video or ask a thought-provoking question to start the lesson.
- Checking the previous knowledge of the students:During this time, teachers should also gain an idea of students' prior knowledge of the topic of the lesson. For example, an English teacher might ask for a hand signal for anyone who has heard of verbs in the perfect tense, and then ask students to raise their hands when they can define the past tense.
- Preview of the didactic material:Finally, an introduction should give an overview of what the lesson will be that day. Give students a brief summary of what will happen so they can easily follow along. Some teachers write this outline on the board. As you begin to introduce the topic, try to connect it to previous learning. For example, you could point out that yesterday you talked about the simple past tense, but that it's not the only tense we use for things that happened in the past.
3. Summarize the instructions you will give
Continue from the introduction to the main part of the lesson. This may include parts of lectures, reading material, multimedia resources, whiteboard examples, group activities, or discussions. Teachers can take many approaches to achieve the same learning objective, and several paths can work. Let your training and creativity guide you in determining the best methods for delivering instruction.
remember there isfour common learning stylesthat will likely be represented in your classroom, so it's best if you can attract all of these types of learners through your classes. For example, in an introductory math lesson on multiplication, a teacher might visualize the concept in thewriting boardor with physical objects. they could use it toomathematical manipulationsto accommodate kinesthetic learners. You may need to differentiate for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Plan to check for understanding as you go through the lesson and answer the questions regularly to make sure students are engaged and no one is left confused.
4. Set aside time for student practice
The saying "Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, participate and I learn" rings true in many cases. Students may have only a vague understanding of a subject until they are given the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice. This is when your understanding really crystallizes. Schedule time for students to practice, either individually, in groups, or both, to take the lesson home.
If you plan to group students, you may want to include these groups in your lesson plan so that class time is not wasted figuring out the best way to divide up the classroom. For digital teaching, it is especially important to plan ahead how to create work groups within the video conferencing platform.
5. Write down the materials you will need for the lesson
A practical concern for teachers is what materials they need to carry out a lesson. You may need to bring your math supplies for a multiplication lesson or activity sheets to help students practice. In an art class, a teacher may need a longer list of supplies to complete a project.
Whatever you need, be sure to list those items in your lesson plan. That way, you can be sure to gather all of these items ahead of time and be ready the day of class. If you would like students to bring items as part of class, you can also let them know in advance.
6. Determine how you will complete and assess student learning
Like any good story, a good lesson should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. After presenting a lesson and guiding students through the content, it's time to wrap up. You may want to briefly review what you covered that day and take some time to answer any remaining questions.
It is also advisable to end with a formative assessment. Teachers use formative assessments to check student understanding and help students make positive changes, if necessary, to achieve learning outcomes. At the end of a class, this often takes the form of a ticket out: a quick assessment of a student's absorptive capacity in the form of a question or two. These reviews mayit only takes two or three minutes, and can help teachers confirm that they have achieved learning objectives or identify knowledge gaps that they should address next time.
You can also leave homework here if needed. Write homework on your lesson plan or on an assignment sheet so you can give it to students before class ends.
Tips for effective lesson planning
Over time, teachers will find a pace and format that works for their lesson planning. What works perfectly for a teacher may not be ideal for you. Just as teaching styles differ, lesson planning styles can also differ. However, there are some tips that can help almost any teacher, especially a new teacher, improve their lesson planning:
- Use a template:A template with spaces for your objectives, materials list, and other lesson plan items can help you avoid the overwhelming feeling that a blank page can have. It can also help ensure that you hit all the important points to include in your plan. Look for a lesson planning book to write in, rather than a typical planner or notebook to help with this.
- Consult the study plans of others:AStudy found by Future Teachersthat teachers who downloaded and consulted other teachers' lesson plans had better students. Teachers of all experience levels can greatly benefit from tapping into the creativity and experience of other teachers. Take the time to review other teachers' examples or online lesson plans to get ideas for your class.
- estimated times:As you prepare your lesson plan, write down time estimates next to each activity or section so you can plan everything in the allotted time. If you find that something took much longer or shorter than expected, write it down so you can improve your ability to accurately predict those time estimates in future plans.
- Schedule backup activities:In case the activities don't take as long as you predicted, or if students learn the concept faster than expected, it helps to have a backup activity or two up your sleeve. In your lesson plan, write down an idea about how you can use your extra time productively.
- Reflect on each lesson:Planning takes place before a lesson, and arguably just as important is the reflection that should take place after the lesson. Choose a lesson plan book with space for notes so you can sit down after a lesson and jot down a few key points. These could be things that didn't go as planned or activities that students especially like. You can also write a reminder to summarize a concept or fill a knowledge gap in the next lesson.
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- Identify the learning objectives. ...
- Plan the specific learning activities. ...
- Plan to assess student understanding. ...
- Plan to sequence the lesson in an engaging and meaningful manner. ...
- Create a realistic timeline. ...
- Plan for a lesson closure.
- Step 1: Establish the Learning Outcomes. ...
- Step 2: Include Any Relevant Resource Materials for the Lesson. ...
- Step 3: Cite Lesson Plan Procedures. ...
- Step 4: Create Instructional Activities or Independent Practice. ...
- Step 5: Reflect and Plan Lesson Closure.
(1) Determine the objective (2) Research the topic as defined by the objective (3) Select the appropriate instructional method (4) Identify a usable lesson planning format (5) Decide how to organize the lesson (6) Choose appropriate support material (7) Prepare the beginning and ending of the lesson (8) Prepare a final ...What does a good lesson plan look like? ›
Your lesson plans don't have to be complicated or lengthy; they should only include information on what you're preparing, how you'll teach it, and what you want your students to achieve as part of the curriculum. Quality lessons tie prior knowledge and understanding and flow easily, connecting ideas and concepts.What is lesson plan with example? ›
A lesson plan is a document that outlines the content of your lesson step-by-step. It's a list of tasks that your students will undertake, to help guide your teaching. A lesson plan is usually prepared in advance and can either cover a one-off activity, an entire lesson, a unit or course, a day, or a week.What are the 4 A's of a lesson plan? ›
Choose a topic that you want the children in your class to learn and apply the 4-A's of activating prior knowledge, acquiring new knowledge, applying the knowledge, and assessing the knowledge.What are the 4 A's methods in lesson plan? ›
The 4As of adult learning: Activity, Analysis, Abstraction, and Application is illustrated in Figure 6-1. The constructivist approach to teaching asserts that a Learner gains and builds knowledge through experience. It recognizes that life experiences are rich resources for continued learning.What 4 key components should be in a lesson plan? ›
- Learning objectives.
- Tools to check for understanding.
A basic lesson plan template includes three key elements: beginning (introducing the targeted objective), middle (presenting the main activities), and end (closing the lesson). The K.I.S.S template is one of the simple lesson plan templates that teachers really love.What is a lesson plan template? ›
What is a Lesson Plan template? A Lesson Plan template is a detailed description of the learning trajectory or the lesson. It consists of five parts: lesson plan, a summary of tasks, assignment, feedback, and further reading.
- Start with a Video. Everyone loves a good video, especially kids. ...
- Start with an Object. Another way to get your students wondering about a topic is to show them objects related to the content. ...
- Start with a Question. ...
- Start with Movement. ...
- Start with a Mistake.
A lesson objective can be one of the most important components of a lesson plan. Objectives define what students are going to learn during the lesson and explain how the learning is going to be assessed.
While there are a number of different models, a lesson plan usually consists of the following components: Learning Objectives What learning goals do you want to achieve in the class? Bridge-In The 'hook' in your lesson plan to interest the learner.How a teacher should write a lesson plan? ›
A lesson plan outlines what you'll teach in a given lesson and provides justification for why you're teaching it. Every lesson plan needs an objective, relevant standards, a timeline of activities, an overview of the class, assessments, and required instructional materials.What are the 7 C's lesson plan? ›
The 7Cs are: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, information, and media literacy, Computing and ICT literacy, Cross-cultural understanding, and Career and learning self-reliance.What makes a bad lesson plan? ›
Causes of a bad lesson
Planned activity takes too long. The activity is just not effective/interesting. Lesson material that is too difficult for the students. Materials that are too easy for the students.
- Take the long view. The first step in planning collaboratively is to sit down together and consider your entire program of study. ...
- Decide what to cover. Start with your first topic. ...
- Divide and conquer. Now for the fun part. ...
- Set the culture. ...
- Review and reflect.
Writing a lesson plan helps teachers in the research team to think deeply about the lesson and beyond. This includes thinking about: The goals of the research lesson (including the topic, the learning goal, the student skill development goal, the teachers' instructional goal, etc.).Do teachers make their own lesson plans? ›
Answer and Explanation: The short answer is yes, teachers create their own lesson plans.What are the 4 C's in teaching? ›
The four C's of 21st Century skills are:
Critical thinking. Creativity. Collaboration. Communication.
This preparation included what has become known as the “4 C's”: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking. Evidence of the need for these 4 C's is embedded in Universal Design for Learning (UDL).What is strategy in lesson plan? ›
A teaching strategy is the method you use to convey information to your students. There may be a particular strategy that works well with your group of students one year that won't work with your students the next year. Because of this, it's important to have lots of teaching strategies in your toolbox.How can I be an effective teacher? ›
They are prepared, set clear and fair expectations, have a positive attitude, are patient with students, and assess their teaching on a regular basis. They are able to adjust their teaching strategies to fit both the students and the material, recognizing that different students learn in different ways.How do you write an objective for a lesson plan? ›
A well-written objective will have four parts, it will state the audience (students), provide a measurable and observable behavior, and describe the circumstances, and describe the degree in which students will perform.What are the 3 learning objectives? ›
There are three main types of learning objectives: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Cognitive objectives focus on mental skills or knowledge and are common in school settings. Learning objectives written with the ABCD approach have four components: the audience, behavior, condition, and degree.What is daily lesson plan format? ›
What is a Daily Lesson Plan Template? Lesson plans are detailed outlines of instruction that educators create daily. Daily lesson plans are typically used as a step-by-step guide to assist teachers in teaching whatever they are teaching in their classrooms.How do you write a mini lesson plan? ›
A mini-lesson plan template is divided into seven sections: the main topic, materials, connections, direct instruction, guided practice (where you write how you actively engage your students), link (where you connect the lesson or concept to something else), independent work, and sharing.Is there a lesson plan template in Word? ›
Head over to Template.net and look for a lesson plan template. You will find a large selection of templates to choose from.What do you say at the beginning of a lesson? ›
Time to begin
Let's begin our lesson now. Is everybody ready to start? I hope you are all ready for your English lesson. I think we can start now.
The opening consists of the procedures the teacher uses to focus the students' attention on the learning aim of the lesson. The sequencing means the sequence of the activities used to attain the goals of a lesson. The pacing is the extent to which a lesson maintains its momentum and communicates a sense of development.
Explain the objectives of the lesson and how they are going to be achieved. It is also very important to explain the significance of the objective and how it will benefit the students. In other words, tell students how the lesson can help them in situations outside of class.Which part is the most difficult to prepare in lesson plan? ›
I think that the hardest part of creating a lesson plan is coming up with a topic to teach. At least, for me, that's the hardest part. Once I have an idea, the actual process of designing the lesson is pretty straight forward.What makes a great lesson? ›
Subject expertise and flair on the part of the teacher. The involvement of each and every student in the learning process. Expert use of questioning which probes understanding and teases out misconceptions. Challenging and imaginative tasks which will engage students and support the learning process.Who created the 5 step lesson plan for teachers? ›
The five stepped system of lesson planning was started by J. Friedrich Herbert, a German psychologist. His five-stage system of lesson planning involves five discrete steps including preparation, presentation, association, generalization, and application.What are the five features of a good lesson plan? ›
- Clarity of Organization. ...
- Clarity of Explanation. ...
- Clarity of Examples and Guided Practice. ...
- Clarity of Assessment of Student Learning. ...
- 6 Remote Learning Strategies to Successfully Check for Your Students' Understanding.
A sequence of lessons can refer to a curriculum unit or a sequence of learning experiences aimed at producing a particular learning objective, goal or intention.Which topic is best for lesson plan? ›
- extracurricular activities.
- relationships among students.
- relationships between staff and students.
A basic lesson plan template includes three key elements: beginning (introducing the targeted objective), middle (presenting the main activities), and end (closing the lesson). The K.I.S.S template is one of the simple lesson plan templates that teachers really love.What are the 7 step lesson plans? ›
- Direct Instruction.
- Guided Practice.
- Independent Practice.
- Supplementary and/or alternative instruction.
The ABCD method of writing objectives is an excellent way to structure instructional objectives. In this method, "A" is for audience, "B" is for behavior, "C" for conditions and "D" is for degree of mastery needed.
A learning plan template defines a set of competencies which you can assign to a group of users.How many step should a lesson plan have? ›
According to Herbart, there are eight lesson plan phases that are designed to provide "many opportunities for teachers to recognize and correct students' misconceptions while extending understanding for future lessons." These phases are: Introduction, Foundation, Brain Activation, Body of New Information, Clarification ...What is the most important in lesson plan? ›
A lesson objective can be one of the most important components of a lesson plan. Objectives define what students are going to learn during the lesson and explain how the learning is going to be assessed.