How to Draft a Lesson Plan

Updated: Oct 31, 2016

For those studying education, learning to write a Lesson Plan is a crucial skill

For those studying education, learning to write a Lesson Plan is a crucial skill – because it will serve as a roadmap for what their (future) students will need to learn during class time. 

Before they plan a lesson, the student needs to first identify the learning objectives for the class meeting for which they are planning, so they can design effective learning activities and create strategies for accomplishing these objectives. 

Steps in Writing a Successful Lesson Plan

Step 1. Outline the objectives. This helps to determine what the students need to learn or accomplish by the end of class. 

Answering these questions helps determine a teacher’s objectives: 

What is the topic of the lesson?
What is it that I want students to understand or be able to do by the end of the class?
What do the students need to take away from this lesson?
What are the most important concepts, ideas, and skills the students need to be able to grasp and apply? And why are these important?

Step 2. Develop an interesting introduction. If possible, start with a question or activity to engage the students’ attention, because a creative introduction can stimulate their minds and encourage thinking. A variety of approaches can be used to accomplish this: a personal anecdote, historical event, thought-provoking dilemma, a real-world example, short video clips, a probing question, etc.

One creating an introduction to a lesson plan may want to consider these questions: 

Is there a way to check if students are familiar with the topic, or if they have any preconceived notions about it?
What could be these preconceived notions about this topic? 
How can I introduce this topic?

Step 3. Plan learning activities. There are several ways of conveying subject matter and teaching a lesson to students – such as using real-life examples, analogies, and certainly visuals. As these activities are being planned, one should estimate how much time they will have to spend on each activity so that every objective will be accomplished. Also, it helps to build in extra time in case an explanation or discussion is needed. The following questions will help one determine which activities are best for their lesson: 

How can I most effectively explain the topic? 
What are the most creative, effective ways for me to best convey the topic to my students?
How can this topic be engaging? 
What can be incorporated into the lesson (such as real-life examples, analogies, situations) to help the students not only understand the topic but understand why learning about the topic is important.
What do the students need to do to truly grasp the topic? 

Step 4. Determine how to check for understanding – to see if the students learned what the lesson set out to teach. Crafting specific questions, as well anticipating the appropriate responses to them, either orally or in writing, is an effective way to confirm students’ understanding. 

Step 5. Develop a conclusion and a preview. An effective conclusion should summarize the points covered in class and also preview what will be covered in the next lesson – maybe even explaining how this lesson relates to the next. 

Step 6. Create a realistic timeline. Estimate how much time each activity will take, and plan extra time for each. In creating the lesson plan it helps to write down the amount of time each activity should take, which should then be tracked during class. Also, plan just a few minutes at the end of class to, if needed, go over uncovered points or topics that may not have been understood by the students. Also, sum up key points. 

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