What are the 5 key ingredients of a great lesson plan?


The 5 key ingredients of a great lesson plan

No two lessons are the same, but they should always be underpinned by the same core set of teaching principles.

Delivering great lessons requires great planning, and here we have the five key ingredients to ensure that your lessons hit the mark every time.

1. Follow-up / recap

·        Have pupils retained knowledge from previous classes?

Great lessons don’t exist in isolation and each should be linked to the last when possible. One way to do this involves recapping at the start of lessons, either through small activities or classroom discussion.

An alternative is to talk through homework tasks if they relate to the last topics covered, with pupils encouraged to discuss areas they found difficult and topics they struggled with.

This part of the lesson is also vital when one lesson is used as the building block for next, as a teacher will need assurances that pupils understand the basics before progressing onto more complex material.

2. Objective setting

·        What do you want to achieve in the lesson?

It’s important for all lessons to have recognisable learning outcomes and these can be detailed in the form of learning objectives.

What elements of the curriculum are being covered and what should a child be able to do by the end of the lesson?

By telling pupils what they should be able to achieve, they are given a sense of purpose and those with a competitive streak will often strive to out-do their peers.

Ideally all of these objectives will follow the SMART approach too, as it provides a good way for teachers to track progress. This means they will be:

Ø  Specific

Ø  Measurable

Ø  Attainable

Ø  Relevant

Ø  Time-bound

3. Introduce the new concepts

·        A chance to explain the core theory and principles being looked at

Any lesson needs to build on a pupils existing knowledge by introducing something new, as this ensures a constant process of learning and development.

Numerous approaches can be used to do this, from presentations and class readings to demonstrations showcasing experiments in the sciences.

Less is usually more in the first instance, as pupils can take the information on-board, process it and then follow up if they are unsure.

There should be time for discussion, giving pupils the opportunity to ask questions and for a teacher to revisit anything that is not fully understood.

4. Practice by doing

·        Allow pupils to put the theory to the test

After discussing the theory and the principles on which it is based, pupils should be given time to put it into practice through a range of tasks and activities.

This may include elements of textbook learning, further research, pre-set questions or a set of hypothetical situations displayed on the board.

All should be underpinned by the new subject matter and must direct pupils towards achieving the objectives set out at the start of the lesson.

5. Wrap-up

·        Test pupils knowledge and understanding

A great lesson looks back over what has been taught and looks to ensure that pupils can demonstrate their understanding.

This might take the shape of quick-fire questions or a mini-test, a game or even a discussion, depending on the subject.

Teachers can then shape future lessons based on the outcomes, as the wrap-up should demonstrate whether pupils have grasped the core learning, or whether a different approach might be needed to embed understanding.

And there you have it, the five key ingredients for a delectable lesson plan!

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