In education, preparation plays a crucial role. As Margaret Thatcher said, “Plan your work today and every day, then work your plan. That’s how teachers do it.” But, how do you plan a lesson effectively?
What is a lesson plan?
A lesson plan is a teacher’s blueprint for what the class will cover and how it will be done effectively. It’s your greatest tool in creating instructive learning exercises and coming up with methods for getting feedback on students’ academic progress.
Planning a lesson ahead is a means of teaching effectively. Hence, you shouldn’t teach without preparing beforehand your lesson plan.
Lesson planning plays a very important role in teaching. It’s your guide to be specific about what content to teach and how to make students learn.
So, how do you usually begin your lesson?
Quite anxious about how to begin your instruction? Check out our list of smart ways to start a lesson.
Why write a lesson plan?
The purpose of the lesson plan is to give you a clear overview of your instructional objectives, learning objectives, and methods of achieving them.
A carefully thought-out lesson plan gives you more confidence when you enter the classroom and increase the likelihood that your students will learn something valuable.
No matter how seasoned you are as a teacher, you still need a lesson plan to ensure that you’re implementing the appropriate learning activities and enhancing student learning.
Importance of Lesson Planning
- Provides the structure of the lesson
- Guides the teacher on the pacing of the learning tasks
- Integrates the key components of instruction, namely: Learning Objectives, Learning Process, and Assessment.
Now you know why lesson planning is important, it’s time to learn the best tips to plan a lesson effectively.
How Do You Plan a Lesson Effectively?
The following quick tips for planning a lesson effectively can help you attract students to listen and interact. Making your learning tasks catchy can make a difference in student engagement.
Hence, you plan. Write your lesson plan regularly and religiously. But, it should not stop there! Be mindful of how you execute it.
Identify the learning objectives
It’s the first step to preparing a lesson plan. Identify the learning objectives for your lesson. What do you want your students will learn and develop? Lay them out.
Clear and well-defined learning objectives are SMART-oriented.
- S – specific (what to perform, how to achieve it, who will do it)
- M – measurable (The level of learning or progress that is expected should be quantified. Also, learning can be shown and is concrete.)
- A – attainable (can be achieved within a set timeframe)
- R – relevant (learning objectives are aligned with the evaluation)
- T – timebound (The period when the objectives are achieved.)
Additionally, presenting the learning objectives should encapsulate Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes.
Simply put, you should be certain about what to develop in students and it should also be made clear to the students right from the beginning.
Here’s a quick illustration of SMART learning objectives that are also KSA aligned.
At the end of the one-hour period, students should be able to:
- Knowledge: use contextual and lexical clues in getting the meaning of difficult words;
- Skill: express one’s beliefs based on the material viewed; and
- Attitude: embrace the life lessons learned from the material.
Tip #1: Use verbs that are measurable and observable in constructing your learning objectives. Therefore, you should not begin your learning objectives with verbs like understand, comprehend, learn, know, and so on.
Tip #2: Refer to the verbs used in Bloom’s Taxonomy. Click here.
Specify content and resources
What’s the topic? If it’s a reading activity, what’s the title of the selection? If it’s a grammar lesson, what particular topic?
Together with the what is the skill. What skill is to be developed? What specific learning competency? Does it reflect the learning objective for skill?
Then, what’s your source? Can it be found in the textbook that the students are using? Or was it taken from an online source? It should be indicated as well.
Will there be sufficient resources available? Do the students have access to online learning portals?
More students will be engaged in learning if the content and resources are made clear and specified.
Plan for the learning procedures
Here’s now the great arena of teaching. If you want to increase student performance, you should spend time and effort planning for these three components.
Before the lesson
Before presenting the lesson, what will the students do? How do you plan the activities? Think about how you motivate your students.
Preliminary activities should create a sense of excitement.
This is about planning the preliminaries which involve activities like checking the attendance, brief recall, and motivation.
Students are more likely to get interested if they become curious. Your preliminary activities take this role. This can take the form of individual, pair, or group activities.
The think-pair-share strategy is one of the best ways to initiate a lesson. You can ask the students to analyze a picture, watch a video clip, or explain a quote.
The motivational activities really need to grab their attention and increase their focus.
If you’re to unlock difficulties to enrich their vocabulary, think of a fun activity to make it enjoyable and not boring.
During the lesson
Once students are already engaged before the lesson, they get more excited as you now present the lesson.
It’s the stage where you integrate effective teaching strategies that cater to analysis and abstraction.
Design learning activities that address your students’ learning styles. This really needs planning and consideration of your students’ learning abilities.
How do you make the lesson so appealing and stimulating at the same time? How do you explain difficult concepts? What are your means of simplifying it so students retain information and learn better?
After the lesson
How do you assess learning? Will you be using a single activity? Do you think it will be enough?
However great your presentation is, if your assessment is not aligned with the learning objective, it’s still useless. No in-depth learning takes place.
If your skill objective is for your students to express their beliefs, then it should be done. Students should be able to do it. You can use differentiated activities that are anchored on that skill.
On a Final Note
So, that’s the nitty-gritty details behind planning a lesson effectively, making lessons interesting, and increasing student engagement.
Everything I share about teaching is crucial, but this one is rudimentary. Hence, it should be a priority.
Planning a lesson is the beginning of learning.
It’s no secret that a lesson plan entails the learning process. A lot of teachers or should I say, all teachers around the world know about it.
So, what’s your plan?