How to Write a Lesson Plan

Creating a lesson plan helps a teacher to convey information to a class in an organized, logical way. An educator has a finite amount of time to teach a lesson, so it is important that he or she utilizes every minute of the class. Lesson plans also serve to keep a teacher on the right track in the midst of a classroom full of lively students. A lesson plan guides a teacher in delivering an engaging lesson to a class.

Tips on How to Write a Lesson Plan

  1. Determine the purpose of the lesson. A teacher should begin the lesson planning process by deciding what he or she wants to convey to students. After a teacher decides on a focus, he or she should begin building a lesson plan around that purpose. A teacher would be wise to choose one objective and not cram too much information into one lesson plan. When the class is over, a teacher should know whether the purpose of the lesson has been fulfilled.
  2. A lesson plan should give a class the opportunity to settle down. At the beginning of class, a teacher should allow his or her students time to sit down, get out their supplies, and stop talking. It is important that the teacher have the full attention of the class before beginning a lesson. A teacher may want to take attendance or make some notes on the chalkboard while students are settling down to work.  
  3. A lesson plan should consider the skill level of the class. When planning lessons, a teacher should keep in mind the students who will be absorbing the information. For instance, if an educator is teaching a literature lesson to a class he or she should use vocabulary that the students will understand. A teacher should tailor a lesson plan so the students will comprehend the material.  
  4. Time estimates are an important part of an efficient lesson plan. If a math instructor is teaching a lesson on division, he or she may estimate that it will take fifteen minutes to explain the new concept. Furthermore, the math teacher may note in the lesson plan that he or she will allow students twenty minutes to practice the new skill. By making these estimates a teacher is giving his or her students enough time to learn a new skill, practice it, and receive help if needed. By assigning a certain amount of time for each activity a teacher is better able to cover all of the material.
  5. A lesson plan must allow time for students' questions. It is a good idea for a teacher to put aside time for questions and clarification even if only one student takes advantage of the option. If students have an opportunity to ask questions, they may find more success in understanding the lesson as well as completing homework. If a teacher allows time for questions, he or she may be able to gauge how well the class understood the lesson.
  6. A detailed lesson plan includes a list of any materials that are needed. An instructor cannot teach a successful lesson if he or she does not have the necessary materials. Some teachers use technological devices, illustrations, or particular texts to convey a lesson. If these items are noted in a lesson plan, then the teacher is unlikely to forget them. In addition, if students need any special materials for a particular lesson a teacher should include them in his or her lesson plan. 
  7. A lesson plan must have an alternate teaching approach. It is always disheartening for an instructor to realize that his or her students do not comprehend a lesson. Consequently, a teacher would be wise to include an alternate teaching approach in his or her lesson plans. An alternate approach to teaching a lesson may include different examples or more clarification. After all, a teacher's main purpose is to convey a lesson in the clearest way possible. 
  8. Lesson plans should allow time for discussing graded exams. After graded exams have been passed back to students, a teacher should put aside time for questions. Chances are some of the information on the exam will show up again in a future test. Students who missed questions on the exam may receive the clarification they need to avoid the same mistake on the next assignment or test. A teacher may want to put aside time at the end of class for students who want to ask their questions privately.
  9. A lesson plan should include a summarization of the material. At the end of a lesson plan, it is helpful for a teacher to convey a summary of the lesson to the class. A summary may clarify a concept or idea that may have puzzled some students during the lesson. Students will also be able to leave the class with a few ideas to think about.
  10. A teacher should note the success of a lesson plan. If a lesson plan was successful and students grasped the material, then a teacher should make a note of that. Alternatively, if students had trouble understanding a lesson a teacher would be wise to go back and rewrite the plan. Each year, a teacher may want to revisit his or her collection of lesson plans to give them fresh details that will benefit a new class of students.  

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