Grade: all
Subject: other

#3314. Lesson Planning 101

other, level: all
Posted Mon Dec 20 02:42:03 PST 2004 by Marjory Thrash (
Pearl River Community College, Poplarville, MS
Materials Required: semester plan, textbooks, activities
Activity Time: 1 hour
Concepts Taught: Basics for creating a lesson plan

Lesson Planning 101

Description: This material is provided as an introduction or refresher. It is based on the format proposed by Madelyn Hunter, a recognized theorist in education. Please feel free to experiment and modify for as needed for your own requirements.

Basic thoughts:
1. You must instruct and provide opportunity for thought and practice before evaluating the learning. Therefore, carefully consider the time, frequency, and manner of evaluation.
2. Many administrators believe two evaluations (grades) per week adequately measure student learning and provides a fair collection of grades. Many teachers exercise freedom in establishing those evaluations, including homework, class work, presentation before the instructor or the class, verbal testing, composition, and traditional testing.
3. Thoughtful accommodations for learning disabled or remedial students can increase the success rates for all students in the class.
4. Varying the instructional delivery and evaluation methods accommodates the multiple learning strengths of your students and adds variety to your teaching day.
5. Pre-testing is worthless unless the instructor can apply the results towards improving lesson delivery.
6. Teaching fewer objectives in a shorter unit encourages the students to focus and persevere.
7. Students welcome change in activity every 12 -- 30 minutes. Incorporating this variety can improve student participation.

1. If your school system mandates a particular form, then use it unless you believe a different system would improve instructional delivery. Often the administrator will accept a different format if provided an example.
2. If possible, use a word processing system to generate the lesson plans. This allows spell and grammar checking, emphasizing particular points, and future semi-instant revisions. If a particular format is established, consider saving the form as a "template" to reduce rework.

Basic Components:
1. Course name
2. Unit title
3. Unit date
4. Curriculum matches (as required by local and state curriculum standards, standardized testing)
5. Unit objectives (the skills to be practiced or mastered). Many curriculum specialists believe a unit should contain 3 to 5 objectives. State each objective in measurable terms. For example: "Students will identify or create examples of EAE compound sentences with 85% accuracy." The teacher could measure this by having the students pick out compound sentences, compose sentences, revise incorrect compound sentences, or create compound sentences from simple sentences.
6. List the materials required for the unit. This should include the specific textbook pages, any outside materials (such as workbook or internet sources), and supplies. This area proves to administration that your videos and/or computer activities are educationally-related.
7. Any pre-unit requirements (such as signed permission slips from parent before participating in the dissection of a rat or knowledge of multiplication tables before learning division).
8. Show the introductory activities. This includes any pre-testing, lectures, demonstration by the instructor.
9. Show the guided practice (class practice, experimentation) -- the instructor guides the students through the steps.
10. Check test -- Verify the students understand the skill to be mastered and can follow the steps. An open book test or allowing students to use notes while working problems are typical check tests. Students identified as remedial receive extra instruction or support, students showing probable mastery are encouraged to work independently or experiment with the advanced activities.
11. Independent practice -- Student continues working while reducing dependence on notes and help from instructor; often the check test process continues, particularly for the remedial students.
12. Review -- often oral or composition format -- allows the student to pull together the learning from the activities. The instructor may provide specific review for remedial students.
13. Evaluation -- Each student proves mastery of the objectives. Format and performance standards should match objectives stated in the lesson plan.
14. Post-test reflection -- Let students see grades, class discussion.

1. Conceivably, a class can move through introduction, guided practice, independent practice, review, and evaluation during 1 hour, if limited to only 1 or 2 objectives. This is a particularly efficient use of time during longer multi-objective units such as research projects.
2. Independent practice provides opportunities for multiple intelligence instruction -- allowing students to select from a variety of activities. This area provides excellent opportunity for one of the evaluation grades, if submitted at the end of the unit.
3. The check test should be very short and easy to grade -- often a visual verification works. The teacher can then provide specific remediation as needed. These are merely verification that the student is making progress.
4. The unit evaluation should be the longer and more detailed assessment, but can also vary by unit objective. In most cases, it is better to give the same assessment to all students, but provide variety within the test (one part multiple choice, another part identification, last part essay or short answer).
5. The unit evaluations must measure the student's mastery of the objectives. Rubrics provide the best measurement of qualitative assessments such as essays, performance, and projects; provide the measurement standards to the students early in the semester.
6. Have a written grade for every evaluation, even performances. For rubric-based assessments, a table will assist in calculating the grades.
7. Some administrators want a balance in standardized/textbook tests and teacher-made tests. Find which system they prefer.
8. Old textbooks and workbooks make excellences resources and examples for teacher-made tests.
9. Investigate the teacher edition materials and websites for the textbooks. Often detailed test materials are free or low cost.