What to Consider When Writing a Lesson Plan
What's All the Hype?
Even though there are so many lesson plan resources on the net, we believe that there can be no substitute for a lesson plan that is created by you, the teacher, that is tailored to the specific student populations you are serving. This tutorial is meant to assist you in developing a plan that is designed to meet the needs of your students and that is framed according to what is considered to be best practices in teaching and learning. It is also our belief that the infusion of technology in teaching is a necessary element to meeting the needs of today's 21st Century digital learner.
The following should be considered for lesson planning:
1) Know who your students are. Know ability levels; backgrounds; interest levels; attention spans; ability to work together in groups; prior knowledge and learning experiences; special needs or accommodations; and learning preferences. This may not happen as quickly as you would like, but it is important for designing instruction that will meet the needs of your students. That's key in successful teaching and learning!
2) Know your content. It is important for you to research the subject matter that you will be teaching. You should also utilize curriculum guides published by the state in which you teach and the local school district that employs you. It is also a good idea to know the national standards and state standards that drive curriculum in each subject area that you are responsible for. You can visit web sites that are devoted to curriculum frameworks and that will give you a lot of information relative to your subject area. TeAch-nology.com has a large number of links that will help you to search for information relative to the subject matter you are employed to teach. One link that can help is as follows:
3) Know the materials that are available to help you teach for success. Take and keep an inventory of the materials and resources that are available to you as a teacher. For example: technology, software, audio/visuals, teacher mentors, community resources, equipment, manipulatives, library resources, local guest speakers, volunteers, or any materials that can assist you in teaching.
Planning For Instruction
1) Content- List the important facts, key concepts, skills, or key vocabulary terms that you intend to cover. You can also prepare an outline with key learning outcomes. Remember to refer to your curriculum guides. State and national standards can be found at:http://www.teach-nology.com/teachers/standards/
2) Goals- Identify the aims or outcomes that you want your students to achieve as a result of the lesson you plan to teach. Goals are end products and are sometimes broad in nature. Goals relate directly to the knowledge and skills you identify in part one: content.
3) Objectives- Identify the objectives that you hope your students will achieve in the tasks that will engage them in the learning process. Objectives are behavioral in nature and are specific to performance. Objectives tell what you will be observing in student performance and describe criteria by which you can measure performance against. In many ways, objectives represent indicators of performance that tell you, the teacher, to what extent a student is progressing in any given task. Instructional objectives can start with a "given" that describes a condition that enables your students to perform any given task. A "given" could be an activity, a specific set of directions, materials needed to perform a task, an assignment, or anything that sets up a condition for students to engage in the task being observed and measured for performance. The heart of the objective is the task that the student is expected to perform. It is probably one of the most important parts of the lesson plan because it is student centered and outcomes based. Objectives can range from easy to hard tasks depending on student abilities.
3a) Materials- List the materials and resources that will be needed for the lesson to be successful. In this case, you should also list technology resources needed to achieve objectives.
4) Introduction- Describe or list a focusing event or attention grabber that will motivate your students to want to pay attention and learn about what you plan to teach. This will depend on the ages and stages and of your students and will rely on students' interests and backgrounds. Remember, getting your students to attend and respond to your introduction will set the stage for the rest of the lesson.
5) Development- Describe how you plan to model or explain what you want your students to do. Modeling the learning behaviors you expect of your students is a powerful development tool and provides demonstration that students can then imitate or practice on their own. During development, models of teaching are used to facilitate student learning. Models can include direct instruction, inquiry, information processing strategies, or cooperative learning strategies. More information on models of teaching can be found on the following link:
6) Practice- List or describe ways in which you will provide opportunities for your students to practice what you want them to learn. The more opportunities you provide, the better chance they have to master the expected outcomes. These opportunities are in-classroom assignments or tasks that give you, the teacher, the chance to guide and monitor progress. There are tons of activities that you can download from the net; TeAch-nology.com provides a comprehensive source of links to activities for all subject areas. Go to the Teacher Resources section of the site and click on lesson plans, quick activities, etc.
7) Independent Practice- List or describe ways to provide opportunities for your students to complete assignments to measure progress against the goal of instruction. These assignments are meant to give teachers the chance to determine whether students have truly mastered the expected outcomes. Remember to only plan for tasks that you believe students can accomplish without your guidance.
8) Accommodations- List or describe ways that you will differentiate instruction according to students' needs. This can include any curricular adaptations that are needed to meet special needs students. For more on differentiating instruction, go to:
For more ideas on serving the needs of special education students, go to:
9) Checking For Understanding- - List or describe ways that you will check for understanding. Assessment and ongoing feedback are necessary for monitoring progress. This can include questioning, conferencing, or journal writing/reflection writing. TeAch-nology.com has a rubric generator that can help develop a checklist for assessing ongoing student progress.
10) Closure- List or describe ways that you can wrap up a lesson. This can include telling students the most important concepts that were covered in the lesson, asking them what they thought were the key concepts (or what they learned), or preparing them for the next lesson building upon what was presented. The key is to leave your students with an imprint of what you hoped to achieve in any given lesson.
11) Evaluation- List or describe ways that you will assess or measure student success in achieving the outcomes that you planned to reach. This can include a variety of ways to evaluate student performance. The following links can help:
12) Teacher Reflection- This section is to be completed after lesson. It represents what you think worked, or what did not work, and why. It is meant to give you some insight into practice and will hopefully help you to make adjustments and modifications where necessary.
Ready To Go
TeAch-nology.com believes that lesson plans can be easy once you get started. We designed a lesson plan template that you can use to create lessons that are tailored to meet the needs of your students and that will provide a framework to help you teach effectively. The following link will take you to the Lesson Plan Generator (just follow the instructions):
In addition to the FREE resources available for lesson planning, our Platinum Membership enables teachers to custom design instructional materials to support student learning. A extended variety of subject areas are available for our members to create tailor made activities. The following link will take you to the our Platinum Membership Area that highlights the benefits of this service (just follow the instructions):