New teachers may not yet understand the value of having a detailed lesson plan. Still, any experienced teacher has learned that approaching any classroom without some preparation can be a nightmare.
The thought of lesson plans might even be intimidating, but there are so many resources available online that much of the hard work of designing a lesson from scratch is so much easier.
Thanks to the good old internet and some amazing current and past teachers, anyone can access lesson plans, and lesson plan templates for nearly every subject, level, and age group. Lessons plans can vary from simple outlines to detailed step-by-step classroom guides. It’s easy to get caught up in picking the right one.
A good lesson plan will have at least four key elements. There are arguably other critical aspects to consider, but this will cover the gist of things.
What is the lesson seeking to achieve? At the conclusion of the class, what should the learners have learned? Knowing the objective should be the first step because it will help steer the direction of everything that comes next.
Setting clear objectives also prepares the teacher in the classroom. Sometimes activities don’t go as planned. Perhaps the teacher had something else in mind but found the students better engaged by going a different route. Think of objectives as the blueprint, but the lesson can take different directions.
A prepared teacher is a ready teacher. It’s important to gather materials ahead of time. The lesson plan should lay out the items the teacher and students will need to complete any tasks, including the quantity. For instance, listing paper without the quantity can backfire. Paper could run out. It’s best to know what is needed, and how much (so you can have that, plus a little extra).
The purpose of teaching is to give knowledge. It would be quite challenging to know whether this was achieved without some assessment.
Assessment doesn’t have to mean a rigorous exam. Instead, a proper evaluation can be pretty straightforward and painless for the student and the teacher. Students don’t like taking assessments, and teachers probably don’t like making or grading them, but their advantages far outweigh those annoyances. An assessment avoids wasting a student’s time re-learning what they already know and shows the teacher where adjustments can be made.
This is the meat-and-potatoes portion that makes the lesson plan valuable. Teacher/teaching sites like TeacherTube and 4Teachers have loads of classroom tools. Regardless of the length of class time, a lesson plan that describes activities, vocabulary, discussion, and practice is always a great idea. Having a step-by-step is a major confidence booster.
This section of the lesson plan can be specific or vague depending to the teacher, but the more details, the better.
– What questions are asked, and how might students respond?
– How long does each activity last?
– How does the teacher demonstrate?
– What worksheets will they complete?
– What are the introduction (warm-up) and conclusion (cool-down) activities?
Teachers who are new to the process of making lesson plans don’t have to wander in the dark. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. There are many website favorites of past and current teachers. With experience, lesson planning gets easier. Until then, online tools are in abundance.