Being a teacher isn't easy – managing, planning, executing, and creating – creative, unique minds is an overwhelming yet satisfying job. Educating and developing a student through practical lessons and problem-solving activities is a skill that every teacher should possess.
Original: SourceLesson plans are used by teachers to have an organized outline of coursework for their students. These detailed plans are divided into multiple learning activities, which save a lot of time and also make a quality and thorough reference for when it's to be presented in class.
In this article, you’ll learn how to write a good lesson plan and organize your teaching sessions better.
10-Step Guide to Writing a Strong Lesson Plan
A good lesson plan is an extensive guide for what students will learn and how it will be executed effectively in class.
While different teachers have their management styles, having a lesson plan template is very valuable as it makes you think through each step, prepare before presenting to your students and understand what learning objectives would give ultimate learning.
Let’s take a look at how you can write a good lesson plan in 10 constructive steps.
1. Lay out the learning objectives
The first step to understanding the aim and purpose of the lesson plan is to lay out its necessary learning objectives.
This will determine what and how your students are going to understand the lesson plan, how they would work towards it in class, what is expected out of them and what would be the lesson’s key takeaways.
Here are tips to consider while writing the objectives:
- Specific, clear, straightforward, and engaging;
- Clearly state the learning outcome of this lesson;
- Compliant with the educational standard of the school/college;
- Aligned with and relevant to the topic;
- Tasks are realistic, measurable, and achievable;
- Action-oriented and time-bound.
2. List down supporting requirements and materials
For each discipline or subject, you might require certain tools or supportive materials to conduct the lesson plan. So, it is pivotal to list out all the equipment or materials your students might need to use for each of these subject-wise plans, for a much smoother, uncomplicated process that can achieve maximum learning.
Keep the required labelled materials in a separate and secure place, or if computers are necessary, make sure you book reservations for a seamless experience. Keep in mind to bookmark every site or include links that you’ll need to present your students their lesson plan.
Teaching materials can also include tangible things or even non-material resources, ranging from test tubes to overhead projectors, from storybooks to online presentations, and from handouts to pencils and pens. Acknowledge the type and amount of resources you would require for your specific lesson plan.
Incorporate audio and visual activities, especially when it comes to scientific studies such as Biology, Psychology, or Physics. This enhances your retention level and makes the lesson an interesting and engaging experience.
3. Plan out learning activities
Jot down interesting activities and learning exercises related to your specific subject, to catch your student’s attention and engage with them in a way that highlights their learning styles and thinking abilities.
Plan out multiple types of activities and examples that would be beneficial to strengthen the students' minds, broaden their creativity and develop their hard and soft skills. Make sure to keep these learning activities interactive and also theoretical, to keep a balance between having references on paper and real-life applications.
It’s always easier if you plan what your students should learn through these activities, in what and how many groups they should be in, a realistic time limit for each activity, and if they align with the learning objectives.
Here’s an interesting TEDx Talk by Catherine Thimmesh on using creativity as a teaching tool.
4. Write down the procedures and instructions in detail
For a well-executed lesson plan, it is important to write down detailed and extensive notes on the procedure of the learning activities and its laid out step-by-step instructions.
Your detailed instructions should include:
- Necessary materials;
- Learning objectives;
- Subject assignments;
- Details of the content;
- Grade and assessment levels;
- Presentation instructions;
- Student groupings;
- Independent practice techniques;
- Games or interactive exercises;
- Opportunities of learning;
- Specific teaching methods you would want to use.
Recognize your student’s prior knowledge about the subject and/or the curriculum, and accordingly provide a challenge in your lesson to encourage them to use their pre-learned skills, critical, analytical & creative thinking, and teamwork strategies.
Making a rough draft of your lesson plan can help you visualize how you could go about your lessons. It also helps you identify missing components, issues with instructions, or potential hurdles that you or your students could face during these activities.
5. Set the time frame for each activity
As teachers, you would know how difficult it is to complete an entire lesson plan while being able to teach everything you had planned to. It is pivotal to create a specific and realistic timeline for each activity to achieve maximum learning and engagement from your students.
Instead of including everything all at once, divide and segregate your lesson plans daily, weekly, and/or bi-monthly. Consider narrowing down your list of activities to fit in the important concepts, ideas, and exercises you would want your students to engage in and learn.
Prioritize the learning objectives, have extra time in hand at the end for questions and discussions, and be flexible or ready to adjust your lesson plans if necessary.
6. Organize the lesson outline
To help make the process smoother and have organized access to your lesson plan, create an outline by adding in necessary mentions and relevant information about your subject. Keep some space for extra objectives, methods, materials, and a designated spot for observation and recommendations.
Gather all this information together and collate them in your master draft, so that when the time comes to present your lesson plan, you would have an entire, detailed outline ready at the go for your reference.
7. Designate grading and assessment methods
When planning how to wrap up your lesson plan, you should build criteria and techniques to assess how well your students understand and learn through your learning activities. This will determine if the goal of your lesson plan has been accomplished.
The best ways to check student knowledge and understanding are through oral and written quizzes, formative assessments, individual and group projects, student surveys, and more. You can also assess their critical thinking and problem-solving skills through group discussions or one-on-one peer discussions.
Get feedback from these pulse surveys to analyze what worked for your students and what didn't. This essentially will help improve your lesson plan for the next time.
8. Anticipate challenges
Not every lesson plan will be perfect and go according to how you wanted it to. So the best thing to do is to try to prevent every possible outcome of problems, challenges, and technical errors from the start.
You might come across multiple organizational problems or perception difficulties from your students. Not every student will have the same comprehension, understanding and writing skills, and it is important, in this case, to be as inclusive and flexible with your teaching methods as needed.
9. Create a summary of the lesson plan
To conclude and summarise your entire lesson plan, create a summary of your topic. Add in important ideas and details that you would want to address in class and include a brief overview of the main points of your lesson plan.
Make a note to keep a little time for yourself to self-evaluate how your lesson plan went. Acknowledge if there was something that didn't go as planned, or if there were some additions required.
10. Review and assign homework
If necessary, for extended learning and to reinforce all the information from your lesson plan, you can assign short and engaging homework assignments. This would be an effective, bonus activity for your students to retain everything they’ve learned in class.
These can be in the form of:
- Short essay questions;
- Flashcard reviews;
- Multiple-choice questions;
- Group/individual projects;
- Written reports;
- Powerpoint presentations.
Creating a good lesson plan for your students is a complicated task but should be a priority among all teachers.
Without a proper template, it can become a difficult process and you could have misguided knowledge about what you need to include in your lesson plan, how to plan your activities, and what learning outcomes you see your students attaining.
Take a cue from our lesson plan guide for teachers for a smoother, seamless teaching and learning experience for you and your students.
If this is your first time writing a lesson plan, Writers Per Hour can help. Our expert writers can draft a professionally-written lesson plan that will help you organize your lesson and be a more effective teacher.