What is a Lesson Plan?
If you want to undergo the Level 3 Award in Education and Training, or are already on the path to becoming a teacher. You may know about lesson plans. An essential part of the AET course is completing a micro-teach. Before you complete this you have to complete a lesson plan. But what is a lesson plan exactly? A lesson plan is extremely important when it comes to teaching. It’s basically a guide to what your students need to be learning as well as how the lesson will be taught.
A lesson plan helps teachers be more effective, providing a detailed and outlined plan they should follow. To create an effective and detailed lesson plan needs to have five components. These are objectives/aims, materials, lesson procedure, assessment methods and overall reflection. Each part of this lesson plan plays a role in the overall learning experience for your students.
Lesson objectives list what students will have achieved after the lesson has finished. These objectives let you easily see if your lesson has been effective in teaching your learners new skills and concepts. But what is the difference between aims and objectives?
Aims are what teachers and learners want to achieve in a lesson or over the course. Different activities can be planned in order to achieve the aims. Ideally, there should be one aim for the lesson. However, the objectives are each individual stage the learner should have achieved. In order for them to reach the overall aim of the lesson. The objectives should be clear to all learners.
To help set objectives for the lesson, you can turn them into goals. A great goal-setting strategy is to set ‘SMART‘ goals, to help keep them focused. SMART goals stand for: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
You can use these questions to help determine your lesson objectives.
- Is the objective specific?
- Can the objective be measurable?
- Is it attainable to all learners?
- Is the objective relevant to your learners?
- How time-based it is?
For each point, you should start with an action that your learners should have learnt at the end of the lesson. These actions will vary, depending on the subject you teach and the knowledge and skillset of your learners. Try to keep in mind that it’s easier to measure success when the goals and objectives are specific.
This section of the lesson plan is to help you determine what kinds of materials you need to use and have when it comes to teaching the content. Without it, you may forget to have those all-important documents ready. Here are a few common types of materials:
- Visual Aids
- Grading Measurements
- Activity Booklets
- And technology
However, the list of materials and resources will change depending on what you’re going to teach and how you’ll measure the success of the lesson and each learner’s knowledge.
Next, we have the lesson procedure. This is an in-depth detailed explanation of how the lesson will progress. It’s essentially a step-by-step guide that takes you through everything from the students coming into them leaving. Furthermore, it’s important that you’re really detailed in this section of the plan. You may never know if someone else is going to cover the lesson.
When you’re writing your lesson procedure, you need to choose the types of activities that help your students meet the objectives that you set. Thinking about these questions may help.
- How will you introduce the topic?
- What’s the best way to teach this information?
- How can you incorporate problem-solving and critical thinking into the lesson?
- What real-life scenarios are related to the topic?
- Does the topic lend itself to group work?
After you write out a rough draft of your lesson procedure, you can also start to outline it to specific teaching strategies. An example of this is, explore, learn, reflect and reinforce.
Students discover a new concept. In this section, you’ll introduce the lesson’s objectives and discuss the key concepts learners should know. You can use icebreaker activities, presentations or a lecture. However, the strategy that you’ll use in this all depends on the topic you’re teaching and any prior knowledge your students may have.
2- Learn and Practice
Learners apply their discoveries. In this one, your students will work independently to get into the details of the lesson. You can use a variety of activities for this phase. If you’re using textbooks, you can assign a passage for them to read or finish a worksheet. Additionally, if you’re using a digital system you can use resources of digital lessons, guided notes and worksheets. You can also incorporate group work or skills practice to further engage your learners.
Review what they have learnt. This could be a part of a class discussion or debate with some critical thinking questions for learners to answer. You could also get them to write the questions and answers down. It’s important for you to list all the questions you’re going to ask so you don’t forget anything.
The students apply their knowledge to problem-solving. Depending on the lesson and the topic, you may want students to complete tasks individually or as part of a group. This can help gauge if learners will achieve the aims and objectives of the lesson.
The assessment method measures whether your students learn from the lesson and met the objectives that were set. Some of the assessment methods that you will use more often than not will be formative assessments and they would vary. Some common assessment methods are:
- Written assignments
- Group/individual presentations
Your assessment method would also include in-class assignments, specific reading or homework to complete for the next session. When you choose your assessment methods you should keep in mind your lesson objectives. Perhaps your lesson objective was to understand a specific concept, you could set an assessment method that requires the learners to explain the concept in detail. Moreover, if students need to demonstrate a skill, have a method to show they can complete the skill/action.
The main purpose is to measure how well your learners are understanding the material based on how you presented the information.
The section of the lesson plan allows teachers to take notes on how to improve the lesson after it has been delivered. Once you have got to this point of your lesson plan, you should have clear objectives, a plan for teaching as well as a way to assess the learning. When you get to the lesson reflection you should think about these things:
- Did a part of your lesson take longer than expected?
- Was there a portion of it that students asked for a lot of help with?
- Did students breeze through the information with no problem?
- Were students engaged and interested in the lesson?
- Were the objectives met by most (or all) of the learners?
You also want to take notes on any part of the lesson that didn’t go well or was not as expected. It can also be a good idea to record any ideas for improvement or adjustments. That way you can have all your improvements.
We hope you have enjoyed this blog! Let us know if it has helped you understand lesson plans a bit more! If the Level 3 Award in Education and Training is for you, then please don’t hesitate to give our friendly team a call at 01205 805 155 and we would be happy to help you. Our course advisor team are available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 6.30 pm.