A lesson plan is a teacher’s guide for running a specific lesson. It includes the goal (what students are supposed to learn), the method how the goal will be reached, and measuring how well the goal was achieved (exit ticket, test, homework, etc.).
Lesson planning is a vital component of the teaching process. It keeps teachers organized and on track, allowing them to teach more effectively. As a result, students reach objectives more easily.
- Provides a framework for smooth and efficient teaching
- Helps the teacher become more confident when delivering the lesson
- Helps the teacher become more organized
- Gives a sense of direction with regard to the syllabus
- Provides a basis for future planning
- Helps a teacher to differentiate to meet the needs of individual students
- Is proof that a teacher makes an effort to improve the quality of learning
Elements of a Lesson Plan
- Title of the lesson
- Time needed to complete the lesson
- List of materials
- List of objectives, which may be knowledge objectives (what a student knows at lesson completion) or behavioral objectives (what a student can do at lesson completion)
- Instructional component that describes the series of events that make up the lesson
- Summary, where a teacher wraps up the discussion and answers questions
- Evaluation of learning objectives
Steps for Preparing a Lesson Plan
1) Outline learning objectives
Objectives are crucial to effective instruction because they help teachers plan the strategies and activities that they will use. Determine what the topic of the lesson is, and what you want your students to learn and be able to perform at the end of the class.
After outlining the learning objectives, rank them according to importance. Identify the most important concepts and ideas so in case you are pressed for time, you know beforehand what can and cannot be omitted.
2) Develop the introduction
Decide what specific activities you want to use to make students understand and apply the things they have learned. You can start with a question/activity to gauge their knowledge of the subject. For example, you can ask, “How many of you are familiar with…? Raise your hand.”
Create an introduction that will encourage thinking and stimulate interest. Use different approaches to engage students – e.g. historical event, practical application, short video clip, etc.
3) Plan the specific learning activities
Prepare various ways of explaining the material to catch the attention of students (examples, analogies, visuals). Estimate how much time you will be spending on each. Consider time for extended discussion, but be prepared to move on quickly if the need arises.
4) Check for understanding
Check for student understanding, i.e. verify if the students are learning. For this purpose, you can think of specific questions you can ask and write them down. You can ask the students to respond in writing or orally.
5) Develop a conclusion
Summarize the main points of the lesson. This can be done in a number of ways. First, you can state the main points yourself. Second, you can ask a student to summarize. Third, ask all your students to summarize the main points of the lesson and write them down on a piece of paper. Review the students’ answers and explain anything that is unclear next time.
6) Have a realistic timeline
It’s easy to run out of time and not cover all the main points of the lesson. If possible, narrow down the list of ideas, concepts, or skills you want your students to learn to the most important ones. Prioritizing learning objectives can help you adjust the lesson plan and make decisions on the spot. A realistic timeline will allow teachers to be flexible and enable them to adapt to the classroom environment.
A well-developed lesson plan is the main ingredient of a successful lesson. Having an effective lesson plan will ensure that teachers are prepared for class and will make it run smoothly.
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