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What major factors do you need to consider prior to making a lesson plan?

At times, it may seem like writing a lesson plan is such a major undertaking that it would require a teacher's entire day just to prepare one, however it really doesn't have to be that way. If you take a deep breath and follow the advice here, you'll have your lesson plan done in no time. The first thing of course is to figure out what you'll need to consider prior to making a lesson plan.

Prerequisites. Know what your students have already learned. This is usually pretty easy since you would have been teaching your own students all year long. However, there may be times when it's important to think about this. For example, if you are teaching a class to a group who has never had you before (perhaps you're a specialist on a particular subject and have been brought in to teach your area of expertise or maybe this is the first day of class), then you need to find out from the regular teacher (or the previous teacher[s]) what the students already know. Don't make assumptions about it either. You may be teaching a lesson on energy and say to the students, "as we all know, you cannot get more energy from something than you put in." However, it's possible they may not be familiar with the first law of thermodynamics and you need to teach them what that is.

Goals and Outcomes. This is another thing we mentioned previously as something you may want to add to a lesson plan. However, whether you write this out or not, it is vital to know these things before you start writing the main part of your plan. It is impossible to write a lesson without first considering what you want to accomplish with it. If your goal is to show your students how to write a proper sentence, then you would not offer a lesson plan that discusses what Shakespeare's greatest play was. While it may be fascinating to discuss the merits of Macbeth as opposed to The Merchant of Venice, it will not teach your students how to write a proper sentence.

Materials: This is another one of those, seems obvious until you actually think of it things. If your students are going to need something special in order for you to do your lesson plan, figure out how they will get it. Perhaps they all need to have glue, scissors and paper. If so, tell them they'll need that. Maybe they need to have a copy of a page from some obscure text. If that's the case, make sure you go to the office and get the copies made before you walk into your classroom.

What do you bring to the table? Every single person on earth has some unique qualities that they can offer when explaining something to another human being. Some people may be better at showing rather than telling. Others may be better making their students feel as if they are part of the action in an historical moment. Whatever it is that you have, think about how to incorporate it into your lesson.

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