What Is a Lesson Plan?

A lesson plan is a framework and a road map, which each teacher will create using an individual style. A good lesson plan is one that sees the “big picture” but includes detailed information for each activity. It's a good idea to organize your lesson plan as a unit plan. Each unit plan will cover a particular topic, and may be broken down into daily plans. An effective unit plan will include the following:

  • Objective(s): While easy to ignore, identifying objectives from the beginning will vastly simplify instruction and assessment.

  • Activities: The meat of your lesson plan will be the various activities you use to teach students what you want them to learn.

  • Time estimates: Including a time estimate for each activity allows you to divide your unit plan into days and periods of time.

  • Required materials: Spend some time writing down exactly what materials you need for each activity so that you will be better prepared for your lesson.

  • Alternatives: It is always wise to plan ahead for absent students, especially if a large part of your plan is a simulation that can be hard to make up for those who miss it.

  • Assessments: Decide in the beginning how you are going to assess your students to help focus your instruction on what the students actually need to learn.

Unit plans are a good way of organizing your teaching. The beauty of putting together a unit plan is that you can go back and adjust activities as you get a better picture of the time needed for each day's lesson.

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