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How do you make a lesson plan?

Updated: May 10, 2023

What is a lesson plan and why is it important?

A lesson plan serves as a guide that teachers can use every day to determine what the students will learn, how the lesson will be taught, and how learning will be evaluated. Lesson plans allow teachers to be more effective in the classroom by giving a detailed outline that they follow during each class.

The most effective lesson plans have five key parts:

  • State Standards

  • Lesson Objectives

  • Lesson Materials

  • Lesson Procedures

  • Assessment Method

State Standards

State standards are academic standards that public school students are expected to learn in Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts, and other subjects in each grade. Here's an example of what a Utah state kindergarten standard for science looks like:

Standard K.1.1:

"Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about local, observable weather conditions to

describe patterns over time. Emphasize the students’ collection and sharing of data. Examples of data could include sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, cold, or warm."

This standard shows that the kindergartners must learn to obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about different weather conditions to describe weather patterns over time. This is what the rest of your lesson plan will be about. Once you have chosen a standard, you think about how you will teach this standard, and how you will assess students to know if they learned it.

To check out all of the Utah core standards, check out the Utah Education Network website!

Lesson Objectives

Lesson objectives list what students will be able to do after completing the lesson. For each objective, think of an action that will help students achieve it. I believe it's best to view your lesson objectives as goals for your class and students that you can help them work toward.

When making your objectives for your lesson, always ask yourself if the objective is:

  • specific

  • measurable

  • attainable by all students

  • relevant to your class and students

Some examples of learning objectives for the K.1.1 standard mentioned above may be:

  • Students will be able to distinguish which characteristics of the weather are associated with each season

  • Students will be able to determine which season certain activities are limited to.

Lesson Materials

In a lesson plan, this is a list of materials that you need to teach the lesson. The list of materials for each lesson depends on what you plan to teach, how you’ll teach it, and how you’ll measure lesson objectives. Some examples of lesson materials are:

  • worksheets for students

  • visual aids

  • crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc.

Lesson Procedures

The lesson procedure is an in-depth explanation of how the lesson will progress in the classroom. It is essentially step-by-step instructions that walk you through everything from the time you begin prepping for the lesson until the assessment you choose to do is completed. It's helpful to be very detailed when writing a lesson plan because there will be cases when another teacher or substitute needs to fill in for you, or your principal walks in to observe you and wants to follow along with your lesson.

When you're writing your lesson procedures, you need to choose activities that will help your students meet the lesson objectives. Some questions you can ask yourself when writing your procedures for your lesson are:

  • How will you introduce the topic?

  • What’s the best way to teach this information to your students?

  • What should students work on independently and what should students work on with partners or groups?

  • How will I check for comprehension throughout the lesson?

  • What classroom management/behavior expectations/transitions do I want to establish?

Assessment Method

The assessment method measures whether your students learned the content that was taught in your lesson and met your lesson objectives. There are a lot of different types of assessments. The most common are:

  • Quizzes

  • Tests

  • Worksheets

  • Writing assignments

  • Journal entries

  • Group presentations

  • Exit slips

Remember that, when choosing your assessment, it’s important to incorporate your lesson objectives. If an objective was related to understanding a concept, consider an assessment that requires students to explain that concept. If an objective was for students to demonstrate a skill, create an assessment to confirm they can do that skill.

As you can see, there isn't just one way to write a lesson plan. It is an opportunity as teachers to be creative and help our students the best we can since we are the ones that know best what their academic needs are. Once you are in the classes for your major, your teachers will help you learn how to create a lesson plan. Then, in practicum, you also get to create your own lesson plans, which is great practice for the real world. With practice, it gets easier!

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