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How To Write A Lesson Plan in 6 Easy Steps

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  • Teaching Strategies

Everybody knows that just about everything in life goes better when you have a plan. And, of course, the classroom is no exception. 

An effective lesson plan is a fundamental aspect of successful teaching, enhancing the learning experience for students of all levels.

While there are many methods to use when making a lesson plan, this article will outline six straightforward steps for developing engaging and purposeful lesson plans. If you’re looking to promote student learning and equip your students with the best tools to succeed, read on!

6 Steps to building an effective lesson plan

These six steps provide a foundation for building a great lesson plan. As you get more familiar with the six steps, you may find that you tweak them to better serve your students. But here are the fundamentals to start with.

Step 1: Identify your learning objectives

The first step in any lesson plan is to identify the end goal. You will want to identify clear and measurable learning objectives so that your learning plan is very focused. 

Clear objectives state exactly what you want your students to achieve by the end of the lesson.

After identifying these objectives, you should double-check that they are both aligned with curriculum standards and appropriate for the students' grade level. 

Finally, you should make sure that there are ways to make achieving the objectives fun and engaging. 

Step 2: Work with your grade level team

The next step in building a good lesson plan is to collaborate with your grade level team to ensure that everyone is on the same page with their teaching strategies, materials, and assessment methods.

By collaborating with other teachers, everyone can share insights on effective teaching practices and exchange ideas to improve the overall educational experience for students.

You may even discover ways to coordinate your lesson plans with colleagues and lessen the workload for everyone. And by sharing worksheets or other materials, students across different classrooms will receive the same educational experience. 

Step 3: Design your learning activities & content

The third step is to develop a well-structured outline for your lesson that encompasses an introduction, instruction, practice and assessment components.

You should also make sure to organize the content in a way that makes the most sense to students. It should be easy to follow and be presented in a clear way.

Next comes choosing an engaging and relevant learning activity. Ideally, this activity will cater to various learning styles and capture your students’ interest. By keeping them engaged in the lesson, this activity will create a better learning experience.

Step 4: Determine how you will assess knowledge

While we most often think of tests as the way that we assess students’ knowledge, there are lots of other options for assessing learning. Depending on your learning objectives and teaching styles, you may use quizzes, discussions, or projects as assessment tools. 

It should be clearly specified when and how these assessments will be administered. You could choose to do it during the lesson or at the end of the lesson.

It is incredibly important to ensure that your assessments not only focus on rote memorization but also deeper comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Tip: Consider using game-based platforms like Prodigy Math to deliver assessments that help take the anxiety out of testing in your students.

Step 5: Adapt & modify according to students’ needs

While it’s important to spend time before a lesson prepping and preparing, it’s just as important to be flexible and willing to adjust on the fly. While teaching your lesson, you should continuously monitor students' understanding and engagement during the lesson. 

If you notice that they don’t seem to be getting a concept, spend a little more time on it. If they all seem to be bored with an activity quicker than you thought they would be, just move on to the next thing. 

Have a plan to differentiate your instruction to accommodate the different learning styles and abilities in your classroom. 

The best lesson plan will have adaptations to maximize each students’ learning experience. Consider the various teaching styles, like game-based learning, that may hold your students’ interest while teaching them effectively.

Step 6: Review & edit

Even if you thought that you made the best lesson plan possible, there are likely some points that you will see could be improved at the end of the school day. 

Take time after teaching a lesson to reflect on what worked well and what didn’t go as great. Make notes and tweaks while everything is fresh in your mind. 

If you teach the same grade each year, store the lesson plan (and its improvements) away for the next year. Or share it and what you learned with your fellow teachers for feedback and collaboration. 

The importance of a high-quality lesson plan

The value of a high-quality lesson plan can’t be overstated. 

High-quality lesson plans ensure that the key components of what you want your students to learn are emphasized. By focusing your efforts, students will make measurable progress in their understanding of the material.

Effective lesson plans also offer engaging activities and strategies that capture students' attention and maintain their focus throughout the lesson. The last thing you want is students thinking about lunch or their after-school activities during the math lesson!

Additionally, well-planned lessons prevent wasted time in the classroom. With a clear structure, teachers can maximize class time and cover more content in the limited time that they get with students. 

Particularly in high school, where the subject matter becomes more complex, a high-quality lesson plan is even more important. It ensures that students receive a well-rounded education and the opportunity to grasp the main points of each lesson, supporting their overall academic success.

Lesson Plan FAQs

Can I use lesson plan templates to build my lesson plans?

Yes, lesson plan templates can be a great tool to structure your lessons effectively. Templates provide a framework for organizing your weekly lesson objectives, activities, and time frame.

Templates help maintain consistency. If you plan to be gone for some reason, a template can make it easier for substitute teachers to follow the plan. 

You can also personalize templates to suit your learners' needs and tailor the lesson to their prior knowledge and abilities.

Here are some free lesson plan templates to get you started!

How can I adapt my lesson plan to accommodate different learning styles and abilities?

You should consider employing various teaching strategies to address diverse learning styles, such as visual aids, worksheets, and hands-on activities. Not every student learns the same way, so we shouldn’t teach every student the same way.

If you aren’t sure where your students are at or how the lesson may need to be tweaked for them, consider giving a formative assessment. This could be a quiz and discussion that gauges student understanding and lets you know how to adjust your teaching approach.

What are the 5 parts of a lesson plan?

A lesson plan typically consists of an introduction, instruction, guided practice, independent practice and a conclusion.

Letting these 5 parts guide your structure ensures that essential content is covered while maintaining a balanced flow of activities throughout the class time.

How should I measure my student’s academic success?

Student learning can be measured through formative assessments, which occur during the lesson, and summative assessments, which evaluate learning at the end of the lesson or unit.

These assessments can take various forms, such as quizzes, handouts, and assignments. Whatever method you choose will help you gauge student understanding and guide your instruction.

How can I make my lesson plans more interactive and student-centered?

The ability to craft a fantastic lesson plan is essential for every teacher, but it can take time and practice to hone this skill. However, armed with the knowledge and steps from this article, you’ll be creating engaging and effective lesson plans in no time. Keep the end goal and your students in mind and your lesson plans will be amazing!

If you’re looking to add more engaging activities to your lesson plan, Prodigy is a great option. Prodigy works on math and English skills that are right on par with curriculum and grade standards – all while being lots of fun. 

The intuitive algorithms adjust the content to meet your students exactly where they are and give them extra practice in areas where they need it. It’s easy to see how each student is performing through the teacher dashboard and its reports.

And best of all, teachers and schools get access to Prodigy at no cost!

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