Lesson planning, it’s kind of a big deal

James Cooper
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Planning lessons is an important part of teaching.

It helps outline your teaching objectives and what you need your students to learn. So what is a lesson plan? What should it look like? Do you need to create new lesson plans for EVERY lesson you teach?

The best way to effectively plan lessons is to use a template and make sure every part of your lesson plan has a purpose. Lesson planning doesn’t need to be exhausting either, you don’t need to outline every possible outcome from a lesson or try to predict how your students will respond to it. It’s a simple way to remind you what you need to do and how you will achieve it.

We’ve identified the three main sections of effective lesson planning to be; The Why, The How, and The Now.

The Why is where you outline your lesson goals. Asking ‘Why’ helps you keep things on topic by asking yourself things like ‘what do you want your students to learn’, ‘what do you want them to take away from this class’, and ‘what can you skip from this lesson if you find yourself short on time’.

The How explores elements of the lesson in more details, for example how you can relate things to real life, how you can actively engage your students, does it relate to the learning style?

The Now all about delivery. How did your lesson go? Reflect on it immediately after, could it have gone any better? This is a great skill to have – being a reflective practitioner. It helps you constantly strive to be better by making adjustments to your practice.

Top tip! Important questions to ask when planning a lesson are:

  • Why are you teaching it?

  • What do you want them to have learned at the end of the lesson?

  • How will you engage them initially – how will you spark their interest?

  • How can you make it relevant to their everyday lives?

  • Are you choosing a “learning style” because it will be meaningful

  • How are you going to explain the concept so that it is understood by all and so that the more able can stretch their learning

The below template can help you structure any lesson – (you’re welcome!)

Reflecting on your lessons and lesson plans is an important skill.

If you find one of your lessons didn’t quite go to plan, don’t let it get you down, it happens to every teacher from time to time. A productive lesson is one in which your students learn something valuable, and lesson planning is a simple tool you should use to achieve this.


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