In any classroom, there are going to be things that you are unable to predict. However, the more prepared you are the easier it will be to adapt to the unexpected – allowing you to effectively teach and control your class. Having an effective lesson plan in place is key to inspire personal confidence in the classroom, creating the ability to evaluate your own lessons and excel in organisation. We have put together some top tips on how to write the best lesson plan!
Identify the objectives
The most effective way to kick off writing your lesson plan is to start by identifying the objectives of the lesson. Think about what you want your students to have accomplished by the end of the class. Which specific things do you need your students to be able to do/remember after the lesson has ended? These will of course depend on the topic being taught, but identifying these at the start of the lesson will help students to stay on track. It’s also useful to include the objectives again at the end of the lesson plan to benchmark against. Have the objectives been met? Have the students achieved the objectives?
Determine the needs of your students
Now that you have identified the objectives of your lesson, it’s useful to assess the needs of your students in relation to the content. This is essential when writing your lesson plans.
What you should consider when writing your lesson plan:
- Are you introducing new material or reviewing material from a previous class? This can influence the structure of your lesson (for example if you’re reviewing material from a previous class, you may be inclined to include a recap quiz).
- Do certain students have different needs to others? Some students have different learning styles to others or require extra help compared to other students. Include this in your lesson plan so that you can adapt to suit the individual needs of the student (for example, do you require a teaching assistant to help with certain individual students? If so, this should be accounted for in the lesson plan).
Plan your resources and materials
Make a list of any resources and materials that you need for your lesson. This will save time when it comes to class time and ensure that nothing detrimental to the lesson is forgotten about. The list should include all equipment (pens, papers, rulers, calculators) as well as any technology required (computers, website links etc.). This seems like a simple rule but is important to consider when writing your lesson plan.
How will you engage your students?
Making sure that your students are engaged is essential to making sure your lesson plan runs smoothly and according to plan. You need to make sure that your students are interested in the content of your lesson plan, so setting out how you are going to engage them in your plan is a great idea. You may want to include a quiz, mind provoking questions or some team working activities at the beginning of the lesson to help stimulate creativity and engagement.
How will you present your information?
Once you’ve set the stage of what you will be teaching and introduced the content of your lesson, it’s time to present the information to your class. This is the time when you will be delivering information to the students and utilising the resources in your lesson plan. Remember to involve your students wherever you can to keep them engaged, for example by asking students to come up to the board and write down their ideas/answer questions.
Whether you are reading from a book, using props to encourage creativity or displaying graphics for older students, it’s all about presenting your ideas in an engaging manner. Don’t forget to account for the different learning styles of your students so that you can use teaching methods that work for everyone!
Include time for student practice
After offloading new material to your students, it’s important that you leave them time to practice. There are several effective ways that this can be done but here are three that we would recommend:
- Guided practice: This involves taking students back through what they have just learned, allowing them to add their own input as they gain confidence with the new information.
- Collaborative process: Working with partners or as part of a group, the collaborative process is all about students talking with their peers as they explore the new concepts. Make sure to circulate among the class and offer additional support when needed to clarify points.
- Independent practice: Ask students to practice what they’ve learned on their own. This can involve using worksheets, peer marked quizzes or having students write a short essay.
Ending the lesson
It’s time to consider how to end your lesson. Finish your class with a wrap-up of what has been taught. Ask students to identify the key ideas as a refresher and check that objectives have been met.
A good way to assess whether the objectives have been met is to provide students with a short quiz/test. Depending on the results, your next lesson plan may include a review of the information before moving on to new material.
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