What Does a Great Lesson Plan Consist Of?

Why you've already seen, in another article in this series, the five basic parts of a lesson plan, here, we're going to expand on that and tell you about everything you might want to include.

Goals: This is a little different than what you may be thinking. It's very esoteric and a kind of feel good experience. In essence, here you want to define the ideals of what a student would come away with in your lesson. If you are teaching a history lesson, you may want the goal to be for them to come away with an appreciation for history and the fact that people in other times really weren't all that different from us. If you are teaching math, your goal may be for your students to come away understanding why math is important in their lives.

Objectives: We discussed this before, but it's worth repeating. This is the concrete take away that a student will have when they are done with the lesson. Another way to put this is "At the end of the lesson, the student will be able to. . .": This is usually written out for lesson plans intended to be used by others since presumably, as the teacher writing the lesson plan and teaching it, you know what the lesson plan should be about.

Prerequisites: This is something that is mostly added to lesson plans intended for a broad audience, since as the individual teacher offering a lesson, we assume you know what your students learned and what they need to know for this lesson.

Aim: We've discussed this fairly extensively. The aim is, put simply, the title of your lesson. It should ideally be in the form of a question.

Motivation: Again, something you've seen already in previous articles in this series. You'll want to have a motivation which hooks your students and gets them excited about the lesson they are about to hear. Think of it as being no different than baiting a hook for a fish. You need to grab their attention and then reel them in with your lesson.

Plan: The main body of your lesson plan. This should include detailed plans as to what you will talk about and when. Write down how you will get to the point you want to get to.

Homework: As we've said before, homework is extremely important in any lesson plan. It should ideally not be "do the problems on page 234 of your text book," but instead should be something that will make the lesson stick with your students for the long term.

Follow up: We've touched on this before, however it is worth expanding on here. No lesson is an island and it should not be treated as such. Make plans for tying a previous lesson to a new one so that the material flows through and will be remembered over the long term.

Evaluation: While we have not touched on this in previous articles, we will expand greatly on this in a future article. In essence, you need to figure out what your definition of success is with your lesson. How will you figure out if you were successful or not?