What Makes a Lesson Plan Truly Effective? 5 Best Steps

Making a lesson plan is a prerequisite in teaching. And creating effective lesson plans is essential in every way.

But, what makes a lesson plan truly effective?

a child playing blocks

The key to good teaching is a well-thought-out lesson plan, which is a need for getting the best results from your students.

Your lesson plan is your scheme. It’s your layout to ensure that your teaching derives good results.

“Great teachers engineer learning experiences that put the students in the driver’s seat and then get out of the way.” – Ben Johnson

Hence, you make a plan for a student-centered learning process. In this way, you are able to design lessons for a variety of students. You will be prepared to modify your lesson plans to better suit the needs of your students.

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It really takes time and effort to make effective lessons plans because planned lessons offer you the following:

  • guidance as you teach
  • makes learning objectives clear to the students
  • helps you enhance the standard of instruction

What Makes a Lesson Plan Truly Effective?

a teacher supervising her students

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

Effective lesson plans have some kind of stimulating activities, often using what we call collaborative and engaging glimpse. However, there can instances that our students get off track of the lesson and we must something.

These smart tips can help you make a lesson plan truly effective.  You can really benefit of adopting them. Moreover, you can create more meaningful learning experiences for your students if you’re mindful of these ingredients to lesson planning.

Presents clear, measurable, demonstrable learning objectives

An effective lesson plan should not only convey what students will do but should clearly state why they should do it and how to achieve it.

Clarity makes a lesson plan effective. A well-structured lesson is anchored on clear, measurable, and demonstrable learning objectives.

Action words like identify, formulate, label, recognize, demonstrate, and so on can all indicate that students’ achievements are tangible.

On the other hand, learning objectives that begin with action words such as comprehend, understand, know, learn, and so on are vague and unquantifiable.

Therefore, as you make your lesson plan, you must formulate your learning objectives with clarity to ensure that all your students are able to grasp the material and realize their learning goals.

Aligns learning objectives with assessment

An effective lesson plan presents parallel learning objectives and assessments. This consistency nurtures students’ interests and helps them assume responsibility for their own learning.

From my experience, it is really disappointing when our evaluation doesn’t reflect the learning objectives stated in the beginning. Students too will get confused and will feel unsatisfied with learning.

So, to save everyone from frustration, think about your learning assessment. It is important that you and your students should have a full grasp of what is expected of them and how they will be graded.

In order to say that a lesson plan is effective, we have to say that there is a clear relationship between learning objectives, tasks, and assessments.

When all components of the lesson plan are in sync, students will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

Promotes differentiated learning

An effective lesson plan magnifies different learning styles. The strategies you used must be extensive and all-inclusive.

Not all students respond the same way to a learning activity. Some can learn fast, while others just stare in confusion. This really happens and you should extend the time planning your learning activities.

A certain method may work better on some students but not on others. Presenting graphs and charts can be an effective way to illustrate concepts for some students than using listening activities.

Providing students with a variety of learning options allows them to achieve their academic goals in a way that best works for them. Also, this tactic fosters individualized instruction in a learner-centered environment.

Makes the learning process interactive

As you plan for learning activities that are conducive to your student’s interests, the material becomes engaging and so the students are more inspired to interact.

Interactive learning in the classroom is highly supported by the integration of technology in education. This just means that technology must be effectively integrated into your lesson plan.

Also, with technology, students become more engaged and increase their focus. The more students become involved in the process, they are more hands-on with learning and they retain information most effectively.

Appearing to be diverse, interactive learning is certainly a method that stimulates creativity, increases attentiveness, and allows instant feedback.

a teacher planning her lesson

Photo by RODNAE Productions

Opens to flexibility

I really love this topic. At some point in the teaching process, you’ll likely find that some of the activities in the lesson need instant revising and modification.

Things don’t always work out the way you expect them to. More than anyone else, teachers understand this. You experience this.

When dealing with diversity of personalities and skills in the classroom, as well as distractions and disruptions, it can be challenging to keep a schedule and plan straight.

Despite you best intentions, the fact is that most days will deviate from your lesson plans. Therefore, your lesson plans should be open to instant changes. It should make your instructional delivery yielding and adaptable.

You should be able to adjust to lesson alterations due to unexpected circumstances. When there are alternative activities, learning will flow smoothly like no deviations are there.

Because of this, you must have the flexibility to make last-minute changes to lesson plans and classroom practices without tarnishing your confidence to teach.

Adapting to evolving needs in your classroom is a great way to be flexible. If you can see that most struggle on the new material that they aren’t able to ask questions, answer questions, and interact, then, you should customize your activities according to your students’ needs.

For a detailed presentation of the strategies for effective lesson planning, click here.

On the Whole

Making your lesson plan effective adds up to your teachable moments. Likewise, students benefit from those teachable moments because they better comprehend what they’ve just learned.

As we all want the best possible learning experiences for our students, we should plan our lessons well.  It gives us enriching opportunities for growth and planning for a variety of learning capacities, readiness, and needs in the classroom.

Indeed, planning our lessons can make our presentations awesome. Perhaps, if you don’t still appreciate the role of lesson planning, it’s about time to embrace and love it.