Basics of Lesson Plans
While you won’t always have to follow these 6 points exactly once you become a more experienced teacher, knowing the following aspects of a lesson will help you organize and be more successful in the first teaching you do.
FOCUS AND REVIEW: You should make clear “where” the lesson is going, what you intend to accomplish, and signal what is coming in the lesson. Frequently in this segment of the lesson, you can have a journal entry which connects in with the literature you might be discussing. Or you can do a quick review of what you discussed in the previous class. Or you might have a quick write or some kind of assessment to let you know where your students are with material you’ve covered.
Objectives: You want to make clear what you hope students can learn. This component doesn’t have to be stated directly. What’s essential is that you as teacher know why you’re doing what you are and how the activities, assignment or whatever is planned fits in the larger plan of what your students should learn. (Remember the Standard Course of Study—it does make clear the objectives for each grade level).
Teacher Input: This section is what you will give to your students. Your input can take many forms: lecture, handouts, explanation, modeling or providing a sample of what you will expect students to do. Here you should consider that students do learn in different ways. You will have visual learners who need to see the ideas, notes, etc. Aural learners do better hearing and have audio stimulus. Kinesthetic learners do well with some movement. Whatever input you give, have examples, details, cover the content solidly.
Guided Practice: In this part of the lesson, the students become involved. Guided practice means though, that you as teacher are involved in helping students put into practice what they’ve learned. Often this section will involve some kind of group or cooperative learning activities. You as teacher will be busy monitoring and observing; you will also be more successful if you have modeled what you expect your students to do. Lead the students through the activity.
Independent Practice: Here’s the students’ opportunity to “solo”—now they need to do on their own whatever you’ve led them to in the input and guided practice parts of the lesson. It can be what you’ll expect for homework or what you might expect on a quiz or some kind of alternate assessment.
Closure: It’s always wise to see what students have gotten in the class period. You can do a quick question/answer time at the end. You can have students restate or summarize what the lesson has involved. You can have the “exit slip”—students have to write a quick summary in some format before they can leave class.