When knowing how to write a lesson plan, it is important that you begin with constructing your plan. Constructing your plan isn’t the same thing as enacting your plan nor is it exactly the same thing as writing your plan. Because you will be teaching a particular subject to a group of individuals, more likely than not children, you may need to change your plan in someway during the lesson or at the very least adapt it due to a particular exercise within the lesson taking longer than you expected or not as long. This means that, by its very nature, you will have to be flexible with your plan to ensure that it is easily to follow for students and that you can ensure that it will be enjoyable for them as well as educational. This is something else that you must note when constructing your plan – enjoyability. For too long in schools the enjoyment factor has been overlooked and this is something that you must not fail to include in your lesson plan. If the students aren’t enjoying at least some of your lesson, then they are less likely to be engaged and thus will not learn as much as they otherwise might.
Now, let’s break down how exactly you will construct your plan. You will, of course, physically write your plan but, as mentioned above, you must make sure that it is flexible enough to accommodate any changes that you may have to implement in order to make sure that the lesson is successful.
- Know your objective. Knowing your learning objective means knowing what the aim of the lesson is. This can be something uncomplicated such as getting your students to read a section of a play or it may be something more complicated such as addressing the basic elements of quantum mechanics. Whatever it is, you must make sure that your objective is at the heart of your plan and that you repeat it as often as you can both in your plan and in your lesson. Repetition may sound difficult to weave into your lesson well but don’t be afraid of it – most people learn through repetition and as long as your students go away having grasped the main idea of your lesson then you will have done some good. Of course, it is important that they don’t simply go away with the main objective of the lesson but also with having learnt a great deal, but this should be the bare minimum that they get from the lesson.
- Timeline. The timeline of your plan is important as it will allow you to time what activities will fill the lesson and how long it will take to get the objectives of the lesson done. As with all elements of constructing a plan, it is important that you remember you must be flexible. If you don’t know your students well then you must try to be extra open about timing as you will not have been as able to establish how they react to your style of teaching and how well they will do with the issue that will be brought up in the lesson.
- Write an overview. Writing an overview of your plan is useful, particularly if you are new to teaching as this will allow you to show it to other, more experienced educational professionals for advice. An overview will also help you to understand how best your plan will work in practise and to be certain that you are on the right track – if you have problems understanding your overview then you will have problems understanding your plan and if you have problems understanding your plan then your students will likely not understand it either. This is important as you have to make sure that your plan is as clear as possible; this doesn’t mean that you should try to simplify any of the ideas that you will be addressing in your class. Basically it is good to challenge your students, but also you need to ensure that you don’t make it difficult for them the understand what you are saying rather than being challenged by it.