Everyone has their own lesson plan format that they use or feel comfortable with, and that’s great! It is important to ensure that all lesson plans include five elements to ensure a successful learning experience. These five are linking prior knowledge, engaging and educating, active learning, reflecting, and extending learning.
What do these elements include?
This should be the first part of your lesson. This is where teachers can activate prior knowledge and make connections with students’ previous learned material. Examples of activities include KWL (know, want to know, learned) charts, graphic organizer, short video clip, a brief discussion, etc. Any activity that will help your students remember something they already learned or know will help ease the learning environment and help them feel comfortable learning something new.
This is the part of the lesson where the teacher introduces new information. Modeling, direct instruction, and concrete examples are essential. The teacher can do a whole group lesson in this section and engage all learners.
In this part of the lesson, students are actively engaged in an activity the teacher has planned. It is important for students to work in groups or pairs so the activity is engaging and interactive. Games, role playing, writing with partners are some examples of activities that would be meaningful for this part of the lesson.
This is a key element in the lesson as students have the opportunity to think about what they have learned and either write or share orally what they have learned. Examples of reflecting activities include a quick write, think-pair-share, or a brief conversation with a partner.
It is always important to take the learning outside of the classroom. This part of the lesson provides students with the opportunity to see how their learning applies to the real world. This is also where teachers can link new knowledge with future learning. Examples include having students practice their new learning with someone at home or writing about how their learning can apply to other situations.
Lesson planning is key to a successful learning experience for all students. When these five elements are included in a lesson, the lesson flows and students are able to make connections to previous knowledge and future learning. If you already use a lesson plan format, these five elements may already be embedded. If not, just add them to your lesson. They are sure to make your lessons more engaging!
Teachers come in all shapes and sizes, and the methods they use vary greatly. There are some that plan meticulously, and others that prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. I believe that a mixture of both is the best way to a smooth, stress-free lesson. Here are a few tips:
Like a good essay, with an introduction, body and conclusion. For example, when teaching language, I choose a certain grammar point to cover in the lesson. In the introduction, I brainstorm what the students may already know on the topic. In the body, we cover the key points, and reinforce ideas with some fun activities. Finally, we round off the lesson with a recap of everything learned.
Including ideas for activities for practicing the target language. By having these notes, you will find that you feel more confident, and have something to refer back to when you get side tracked. It is important to be able to be spontaneous in the classroom, but having a plan makes sure that you, and your students, stay focused.
It is worth having a few different types of activities up your sleeve, ranging from written, listening and spoken exercises. Focus of the students. Let them do the talking. When learning a language, students learn best by practicing and so do not preach, let them learn by using language themselves.
Students are more responsive when they are enjoying themselves. Use activities such as role play where each student takes on a character in a scenario. They write the dialogue, using the target language, and then perform in front of the class. The students generally enjoy this kind of activity.
Be attentive and take note of what type of activities the students respond well to. This will help you plan for future classes.
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