One of the best tools teachers use to lead a class is a lesson plan. Lesson plans offer the structure needed to plan a productive class session, which is essential to helping students meet critical objectives. It also helps teachers lead students while minimizing deviations and distractions. Overall, knowing how to write an effective lesson plan means
How To Write a Lesson Plan
Use a Template
One of the best ways you can stay organized when writing a lesson plan is by using a template. Utilizing a pre-set structure for lesson plans helps you to stay organized and ensures you don’t forget to include any key elements when planning a class session.
You have all the freedom when choosing the right lesson plan for you. If you have a unique way of planning, you can create your own templates. There are also many low-cost or even free resources on the web that you can use to gain access to basic templates that work for all grade levels and subjects.
Once you have your template ready, it’s time to identify the objectives of your lesson. If you’re having trouble deciding what your objectives are, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want my students to come out of this lesson learning?
- What knowledge do my students need to succeed on standardized testing?
- Do my students struggle more in certain areas than others?
Identifying objectives is one of the most critical parts of lesson planning because it gives you a road map to deciding specifically what you need to teach. Consider what areas your students might already have knowledge in from previous grades or lessons, and aim to build upon that for the best success overall.
Consider Students’ Needs
Each student is unique and has their own set of needs. It’s also important to keep in mind the grade level and academic needs of your students. An advanced placement class, for example, can handle more advanced lessons than an on-level one. Grade level is another crucial thing to consider since elementary learners need different lessons than high-school level students.
When considering the needs of your students, don’t be afraid to include them in your decision-making. Your class likely consists of an eclectic mix of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. It’s vital to include teaching strategies that appeal to each individual learner.
This helps ensure that everyone meets the objectives you set and retains the information when it comes time for assignments and testing.
Plan the Resources and Materials Needed
A great lesson plan uses plenty of resources or materials to be as effective as possible. When writing a lesson plan, don’t forget to make a list of the things you and your students need in class. This can include rulers, pens, pencils, calculators, and any other necessary tool to make the class time productive.
Planning resources and materials extend beyond physical items used in class. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and include educational games, videos, and websites in your lesson plans. Doing so helps increase engagement among your students, and engaged students are successful students. Getting kids interested in the things they are learning is a great way to solicit higher grades and test scores.
Make Sure Lessons are Student-Centered
It can be tempting to make a lesson plan all about teaching what students need to know. Even though this is a critical aspect of any good lesson plan, it shouldn’t be the only part of it. The best lesson plans ensure that students stay engaged in the lesson as you teach it. Here are a few things you can implement in your classroom to make sure you are doing this:
- Start the lesson with an interesting fact. Showing kids that learning can be exciting and fun is a great way to increase class participation.
- Maintain a confident and enthusiastic composure. Your attitude is contagious! Make sure to avoid sounding monotonous to keep kids interested in what they’re learning.
- Don’t be afraid to start a conversation. Allowing lesson-specific dialogue between yourself and your students helps them feel included in their learning.
- Offer choices. Try allowing students to pick how they learn their objectives, how they complete assignments (alone or in groups), or how they present the information they learn.
Allow Plenty of Time for Students to Work
The majority of a lesson plan will indeed be comprised of teaching, but students must have plenty of time to work. Allotting too much time to the lecture means that students might not have enough time to ask questions or complete applicable assignments, which can lead to higher stress levels and lower achievement in class.
The amount of time you spend teaching versus allowing students to ask questions and work will vary based upon the time you have to spend in class together. If a lesson is particularly long, you may want to spread your lesson plan out over more than one day. This ensures that you have enough time to teach, and your students have enough time to do their work and ask questions.
Wrap Up with an Assessment
The job of a lesson plan doesn’t end when you are done teaching. At the end of every lesson, there should be a formal or informal assessment to gauge what your students have learned. This helps you determine whether you need to spend more time on a subject or if you are satisfied with your class’s level of comprehension.
There are a few different ways that you can complete assessments. Here are a few tried-and-true options that you can try in your next lesson:
Lesson Planning for Success
Learning how to write the most successful lesson plans for your class can be a process. Not all teaching strategies work for all students, so don’t be afraid to make changes where you see fit. Following these simple guidelines is a great way to make sure you include all the most important aspects of a lesson plan so that you and your students can have the best class sessions possible.