Lesson Plan Help
What is a lesson plan?
- A teacher’s plan for making learning happen
- An outline of activities that results in student learning
- A road map for a given period of instruction – generally for one class
Lesson plans have various parts each serving a specific educational purpose.
For example the motivation or interest approach serves to stimulate the students
interest in the lesson or lesson topic. Lesson plans have three general
- Parts of the lesson plan that prepare students to learn
- There are parts of the lesson that actually serve to teach the students
the new skill or knowledge (content)– help them understand or comprehend
- And there are parts of the lesson designed to help the new information
stick in their minds – long range memory - retention
Part of a Lesson Plan:
- Teaching strategy
- Contextual sets
- Macrocontextual sets
- Microcontextual sets
- Checking for understanding
- Transitions between other parts
How much time do you a lot for each part? Here is a guideline for a 50 minute
- Intro – 5 - 10 minutes
- Connection – 3 - 5
- Motivation – 3 - 5
- Preview – 1 minute
- Input – Teaching techniques – 15 minutes
- Application – 15 – 20 minutes
- Review – 10 minutes
- Closure – 1 minute
Writing a Lesson Plan
The order in which you write the lesson is different than the order in which
the parts of delivered. Order of writing:
- Identifying lesson objectives
- Finding content outline in books or other resource
- Identify teaching strategies for each objective or objectives
- Identify or create an application
- Identify or create a review
- Write a closure
- Identify or create the connection motivation, and preview
Guiding principles of writing lesson plans:
- People have short attention spans - change activities every 15 minutes.
- Vary the type of activity – fun, risk taking, independent, group,
reflective, sitting – action, silly, straight forward, etc
- Make learning fun - the brain works that way
- Engage the students – have them do something
- Be enthusiastic
- People have different learning styles and intelligences. Try and
address each style.
Parts that prepare students to learn
- Introduction or anticipatory set
- Contextual set
- Link or connection
- Motivation or interest approach
- Overview or preview
Parts that prepare serve to teach students content - input
In a single lesson, a teacher may use a variety of teaching strategies.
Parts that reinforce the learning:
If the lesson is addressing standards then list them here for reference (ex.
Description: Things teachers do to put the topic in a context.
This is a very challenging component to understand. We will come back to it
in the end. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Link or Connection:
Things to think about
- The link is one of the very first things that you will do in a lesson.
- What will their comfort level be in engaging in a risky activity.
- This could set the tone for the entire lesson – begin with a bang.
- The connection should be age and maturity appropriate
Description: a link connects the lesson topic to something that the students
have previous knowledge or experience about It may be an activity that you open
the lesson with so that you know as a teacher that the students have all had the
Link or connection Educational value: We now from research that our brains
attach new knowledge to existing knowledge so we use that in lesson design.
So if someone has learned how to add single digit numbers, we can build on that
to teach them how to add multiple digit numbers. Or if all of your students have
enjoyed ice cream, we can link to that experience at the beginning of a lesson
on the dairy industry.
- Personal stories,
- Story about: a life long friend that I met at a FFA or HS activity
- Travel experience
- An activity that helped you get a scholarship
- Speaking experience
- Time management issue
- Job story
- SAE experience
- A note on stories – the best ones are your own, the second best are
things that happened to someone that you know and the last choice are
stories from a book.
- Stories should touch the heart, funny bone or intellect
- Mock FFA event – mini judging contest
- “Unequal Resources” leadership activity
- PREP Team Building initiative
- Decision Making Activity
- Resume evaluation “Who Would you Hire?”
- Conversation Stack
- Hand Shakes
- Talent Identification activity
- Market Plan activity – “Making yourself marketable”
- Want Ad poster activity
- Create an ideal employee – clay or supplies
- “That’s Me” activity
- 2-3 rhetorical questions that students can answer yes to
- “How many of you like to travel?”
- "What is the coolest place that you have ever traveled to?”
- “Would you like to continue to travel during high school?”
- “How many of you have ever done any public speaking?”
- “How many of you enjoy public speaking?”
- “When you think about your perfect job, will you need to communicate
- How many of you have ever played a team sport?”
- “Was it a good experience?”
- "What makes up a good team player?”
- Video clip
- School of Rock
Description: Something is a lesson that arouses or stimulates the interest in
the students. Something that motivates them to want to learn or participate in
the lesson activities. The question “WIIFM?” is answered.
Motivation Educational value: When we want to learn we are receptive. This
step is essential. Without it, anything else you do is a waste of time as the
students are not receptive to your teaching.
Examples of motivators
- Share real life value of knowing knowledge or skill
- Story of how it helped you to know the topic
- Data or evidence
- Your own enthusiasm for the topic or lesson
- Building instant rapport with the students
- Meeting them at the door
- asking them questions
- treating them with respect and dignity
- listening to them
- having patience with them
- asking them to help you
- listening to them when they contribute
- writing down their comments exactly as they stated them (do not
- being prepared
- making an effort to remember names and using them during the lesson
- asking them for their opinion
- Preparing a valuable lesson for them
- Hold them accountable for their learning – expectation that they will
- Peer pressure – win over opinion leaders
- Create a safe and secure environment where they can risk competitions I
- Hand shakes and processing
- Processing of unequal resources
- Story about the benefits of active participation in activities –
- Samples of job applications for the students to look at (applications
should request list of activities involved in).
Things to think about:
- Tap into their experiences, age, interests, etc
- You may need to motivate along the way – periodically in the lesson – I.e
before an activity
- Some students will be intrinsically motivated, some will not
- Just having new faces, new style, will motivate (at least for a while).
Preview or overview Description: An overview is a statement by the teacher
telling the students what they are going to learn, do today.
Educational value: Some thinkers want to know what to expect. They will be
the kind of students that frequently ask ”What are we doing today?” in class.
Preview or overview Examples:
- “Today we are going to help you get that ideal job.”
- “During our time together, we are going to investigate the cool world of
FFA and how it can help you get into a college.”
- “By the end of this period, you will be empowered to lead a group, your
chapter or other organization that you have an interest in.”
- “So together, we are going to become experts in the area of resume
- “So today we are going to play a little, share a few ideas, and each one
of you will develop a plan of success…
Something to keep in mind about overviews You don’t have to spell it all out
for them. Sometimes, being a bit vague can arouse their curiosity even more.
Sometimes you preview activities in the lesson as opposed to what they will
actually learn – especially if you can not find a way to make it sound exciting.
“Today we are going to learn how to fill out a job application.” “Today, you
will be empowered with the skills necessary to get the job that you want!”
See Macro-Contextual Set:
TEACHING TECHNIQUES Description:
A technique or strategy used by the teacher to help students comprehend and
retain new knowledge or skills TEACHING TECHNIQUES Educational Value: The
acquisition of new knowledge is what teaching is all about. Some are more
affective than others.
- 10% of what we read,
- 20% of what we hear,
- 30% of what we see,
- 50% of what we see and hear,
- 70% of what we say,
- 90% of what we say and do.
Dr. Vernon A Magnesen, 1983
- Lecture – 20%
- Lecture with visual (power point, chalk board, hand out) – 50%
- Variations on lecture
- “Little Professor Moment”
- Lecture in a little book
- Lecture with graphic organizer
- Interactive hand out (blanks left in lecture notes) True or false
- “What you already know about this subject” and fill in the gaps
- Guest speaker
- “Hide and seek” peer teaching – “Go Get it” moment
- Reading assignments – 10%
- Peer teaching – 70%
- Demonstration – 50%
- Problem solving & discussion – 90%
- Activity and processing – 90%
Examples for our lesson Peer teaching – students in pairs read about a FFA
activity available to them as freshmen and create a promotional poster that
would encourage their peers to participate in the activity
Things to think about. We learn best by doing! We learn when the
teacher designs a purposeful focused lesson. Learning is work!!! If we can build
in 7 experiences for students to manipulate the information, learning happens!
For example the students:
- Hear it from the teacher
- Reads about in on a hand out
- Writes it as notes
- They create a model as an application (more on this shortly).
- The students engage in a review activity (this too)
- The students have a review quiz on it the next class period
- Students read through their notes and highlight the key concepts prior to
- Hear it from the teacher
- See it demonstrated and on a hand out
- Try it under the guidance of the teacher
- Model it to a neighbor
- Use the skill in a laboratory
- Participate in a review activity
List all of the materials you will need for the lesson. This may
include handouts, references, and equipment. Making a complete list will help
you prepare for the lesson.
List all words and terms that will be introduced during the lesson.
These may the the technical terms associated with the lesson, or names of
special tools and equipment.
Outline what you intend to cover and in the order you intend to cover it.
This helps keep you focused on the lesson.
Applications/Guided Practice Description:
An activity where the students use the information or practice the skill.
Educational value: increases comprehension and retention. “Active bodies equal
- Create something – model, visual, song, poem, weather report
- Solve a problem Debate Write an essay, speech,…
- Practice the skill
- Role play
- Conduct an interview
- Evaluate a sample
- “Go with the Flow” moment
- “Einstein” moment
- “Eye Witness” moment
- Create an involvement plan – card
- Create a resume with activities included in which they plan to participate
- Create an 8th grade recruitment program
- Convince an administrator role play
- “Convince your Neighbor” contest
- Create “Doubting Thomas” questions
- “Above the Line” activity
- Personal “Weigh the Benefits” exercise
Things to think about:
- The more real, the more effective?
- Variety is the spice of life – evaluate other activities and mix up the
type of activity – active vs. passive, etc Involve all the senses
- Consider age, risk level, degree of freedom, audience
Review Techniques Description:
Students “visit” the key points of the content again.
Educational value: Increased retention this is one of the seven manipulations
of the content.
- $10,000 pyramid
- Hieroglyphics moment
- Graphic Artist moment
- Party Host moment
- Contests – baseball, horse racing, football,
- A to Z review
- Ball Toss review
- Pair share
- “Ticket out the Door”
- “Show what you know” moment
- Highlight your notes
Things to think about:
- This component of a lesson is often neglected and becomes a few questions
that teachers ask of a few students.
- An effective review engages ALL students
- Allot an appropriate amount of time for review
A closing statement or two that “wraps up” the lesson – puts a bow around it
and causes the students to leave the period feeling good about what they have
just learned. Educational value – we tend to remember the first and last thing
that we do or hear. Make the last thing memorable.
- “Today was a great day. Now you can go out their in the world of work and
get the job that you want.”
- Thanks for a good day. So, here is the deal. Next period when you enter
the classroom – shock your teacher – walk up to them and shake their hands in
the professional way, look them in the eye and say “ good morning, Mr. ….” Let
me know how it went the next time that I see you.
List or describe ways that you will assess or measure student success in
achieving the outcomes that you planned to reach. This can include a variety of
ways to evaluate student performance.
This section is to be completed after lesson. It represents what you think
worked, or what did not work, and why. It is meant to give you some insight into
practice and will hopefully help you to make adjustments and modifications where