Your Career• 3 Min read

29th June 2021

English Lesson Plan: What Should It Include?

As a new teacher, you’ll find lesson planning is something that needs time and thought. As you gain more experience, you’ll discover your own method and shorthand to produce plans for your lessons in record time. To help you get you to that point, we’ve put together a series of guides featuring example lesson plans and ideas for different subjects – in this blog, we’re taking a look at an English lesson plan, what you should include and how to use it to produce an engaging lesson that meets it’s learning objectives.

What Should You Include In An English Lesson Plan?

A lesson plan should include everything that a supply teacher would need to hold the lesson on your behalf – although this won’t always be possible in practice, it’s good to bear in mind. Don’t omit information just because you know it by heart!


This should detail what you anticipate the learning outcome for the class will be. If you are studying a piece of writing, you may have a goal of where you’d like the class to get to (with full understanding!) If you are teaching poetry, your goal might be to extract an original poem from each of your students or groups. The objective could be that the class are able to communicate effectively about an extract they are studying. Setting a clear objective will help keep the lesson on track, and make it easy to review your success.


 Allocate timings for independent writing, reading aloud and any extra activities.  You might like to give strict timings for activities to break the lesson down or prefer a more student-led approach. Either way, making sure your slower students have enough time to finish activities is essential.  Just a quarter of under-18s in the UK read every day according to a study in 2020, so you might consider starting or finishing the lesson with a short time for independent reading. 


Your choice of groupings will depend heavily on the activities that you are planning and the type of students in your class. For confident students, reading aloud or performing in front of the class will be memorable and engaging, but shyer pupils may struggle with whole-class activities. Mixing your lessons up gives everyone a chance to shine.


Make sure you don’t have to rush around finding supplies by planning everything you’ll need to take. Spare stationery for ill-equipped pupils will keep your class on track and enough books for individual copies always helps. Sometimes, you’ll want to use other materials to engage your students with the English Language – think outside the box and use newspapers, scripts, webpages, instruction manuals, infographics or recipes to really spark their interest!


How will you ensure that all pupils are able to keep up with the work? What about those who finish tasks early? Whatever area of English you are teaching, some pupils will struggle more than others with full comprehension. Some methods that teachers use to differentiate pupils are allocating different texts tasks or speaking roles depending on your pupil’s ability. It’s important to offer your students plenty of room to grow and improve – never assume a pupil will be the last to finish, they might surprise you!


Find ways to check comprehension that doesn’t involve a formal test. You might ask students to expand on or clarify ideas, write the next chapter of a story or answer quick questions. Making time to chat to individual pupils will give you a good idea of their understanding of the tasks you’ve set, but we all know that’s not always possible!

How Successful Was Your Lesson?

It’s important to review the success of your lessons and adapt them each time. As you get to know your class, you’ll begin to know how long tasks are likely to take them (and how interesting they are going to find them!) and you’ll be able to tailor your plans to produce fun, engaging lessons that keep your pupils interested!

Start Planning Your Next Move

Register now to find out about all our 2023 roles and opportunities for Australian teachers


Recommended for you

Sign up to the Engage newsletter for education insights.
AustraliaEnglishUSAIrelandCanadaUnited Arabic EmiratesSouth Africa