Each professor may wish to customize a lesson plan format to fit the purpose of each course. Prompts under each area reflect best practices from research and many teachers' experience.
1. Planning Objectives
a. What are my learning objectives, the specific aims to realize my course goals? (State in behaviors that can be assessed, formally or informally.) Students will:
b. What is the topic of today's class? Map the organization of the major ideas/ content on another sheet.
c. Within which larger unit or background of knowledge does this fit?
2. Creating Learning Context
How will I set rapport, create a learning context, and connect with students' background experiences and knowledge? Do I need to give a pretest?
(Egs. CAT - background knowledge probe; class discussion; quick write; discuss with partner or in small group a specific teacher-designed question, motivational stories, review)
3. Considering Multi-Modality Communication
How will I engage the students in the following communication modalities?
a. In which phase(s) of the mental act will students be engaged?
(1) reception (2) elaboration (3) expression
b. What modality or language will I use to communicate?
(Eg.: Visual: figural, graphic, cinematic; numerical; symbolic, code; verbal, linguistic; sign language, motoric and gestural; other:______________________)
What modality or language will I ask the students to use to communicate?
c. Which of the possible learning styles of the students will I address?
(1.) a) auditory-verbal b) visual-spatial c) tactile-kinesthetic
(2.) a) concrete b) abstract
(3.) a) reflective (sees from multiple perspectives; assimilates by thinking about it)
b) active experimentation (learns by doing something with it)
(4.) a) global; grasps whole picture b) sequential; specific details in order
(5.) a) independent b) dependent c) interdependent
(6.) a) creative b) analytical/evaluative c) executive (prefers to implement)
(7.) a) introvert b) extrovert c) ambivert (both internal and external)
d. Would Kolb's learning cycle be relevant? Will I create an experience, allow students to reflect upon the experience, encourage students to conceptualize in an abstract way about it, and then actively test out their concepts, conclusions or models?
e. What do I need to make or arrange for in order to teach in a multi-modality way?
4. Deciding on the Thinking and Conceptual Framework
a. What kinds of thinking will students be doing according to Bloom's taxonomy?
( ) recall of knowledge ( ) analysis ( ) comprehension ( ) synthesis ( ) application ( ) evaluation
b. Other mental abilities to develop:
( ) concentration ( ) fluency (lots of ideas) ( ) fluidity (seeing connections) ( ) metacognition ( ) other:
c. What kinds of relationships do I wish to convey?
( ) descriptive (parts within whole)
( ) comparison and/or contrast or similarities and/or differences
( ) analogy
( ) deliberation (pros and cons/ advantages and disadvantages)
( ) sequential order (time, rank, enumeration, importance)
( ) process (series of steps in a process, cycle, flowchart, feedback loop, iterative process
( ) causality (cause and effect; occurrence and consequence, causal timeline)
( ) problem-solution (problem definition, options, solution, results, implications)
( ) proposition and support
( ) argumentation for a conclusion
( ) conceptual analysis (concept, characteristics, examples, non-examples, definition)
( ) goal/ action/ outcome
( ) ______________________________
d. Given the subject matter I wish to cover, what skills do the students need to learn? In what operations (internalized, organized, coordinated set of actions used to elaborate information) do students need to engage to be able to master the course's content?
(Egs.: classification, seriation, hypothetical, syllogistic, analogical, or inferential reasoning; inductive or deductive approach to the task or material). Other:
5. Active Learning
Given all the above, what learning activities would best fit today's lesson? How will I introduce them: short, paced activities within a lecture; whole class activity; lecture followed by activity? (See 6a or b in "The Feedback Lecture".) Some options to promote active learning are listed below.
( ) Informal small groups
( ) Large group discussion
( ) Collaborative group projects
( ) Labs/ experiments
( ) Oral reports
( ) Student demonstrations
( ) Simulations/games
( ) Questioning; self-questioning
( ) Case Studies
( ) Problem solving (exercises; scenarios)
( ) Reading assignments+
( ) Writing exercises (quickwrite, annotate, notes+)
( ) Effective use of technology+
( ) Critical thinking exercises/reports
( ) Trigger films, video/thought ?s
( ) Model visualization; model building
( ) Brainstorming
( ) Journals
( ) Learning logs
( ) CAT (Classroom assessment techniques)
( ) Think tanks
( ) Research/ study
( ) Interviews
( ) Field trips
( ) Seminars
( ) Open-ended problem/project spanning semester
( ) Study guides
Add other discipline-specific activities:
6. Determining Level of Difficulty
What is the learning difficulty? Consider quantity, complexity, interest, student background, relevance, organization, abstraction and efficiency.
a. How much material should we cover in one day?
b. How complex should the lesson be (the number and degree of novelty of units)?
c. What is the level of student interest? How will I engage students' interest and motivation?
d. What level of background knowledge exists within the class for this topic?
e. How relevant is this lesson to their lives and futures? Will it draw out their potentials?
f. How will I make organization overt, or structure it?
g. What levels of abstraction will be required from students?
h. What level of efficiency (rapidity/precision or degree of effort) should I expect?
7. Analyzing the Task & Choosing or Designing a Learning Strategy
If lecturing, the strategy can be demonstrated during the presentation with your content material. Guided practice could be done after the lecture. Application could be done as a homework assignment.
Click here for the most specific detailed instructions regarding strategies.
a. Analyze the Task: What set of steps should students go through to master this skill or knowledge? Turn the important steps into a learning strategy, or choose an existing strategy that conveys clearly how to learn your subject matter.
(Egs.: paraphrasing, visualizing and summarizing, SQ5R for reading and studying a textbook, Cornell 6-R notetaking procedure, step-by-step writing procedure, analyzing an article, research a topic, write a lab report, perform calculations, prepare a speech, etc.)
b. Sequence and Pacing: What sequence and pacing would be best? Lay out the sequence of activities of your lesson plan on another sheet of paper.
c. Modeling: How will I describe how to go about doing this task? How will I model it? What language will I use to show students how I think as I approach and engage in the task?
d. Guided Practice and Scaffolding: What is the best way for me to give the students feedback about how they are doing? How will I "scaffold" or support their practice of the task? How can I give them an experience of success using easier material before moving to the targeted level, and gradually remove the support as they gain mastery?
e. Application and Self-Regulation: What in-class work could students do to apply the strategy with grade-appropriate materials? How will I teach them to monitor themselves when doing homework assignments to encourage self-regulation and metacognition?
a. How will I evaluate the students' mastery of content? Pretest, checklist, quiz, oral quiz with tutors, taped recorded answers to questions, exam, essay, multiple choice or short answer test, e-mail or bulletin board discussion, graphic organizer, report, group work, journals with self-reflective comments, etc.
b. Long-term retrieval: What do they need to remember? What exam preparation could I facilitate? What mnemonic devices would fit my specific content?
c. Extension/transfer: How will I encourage students to transfer their knowledge and skills to other contexts? How will students be reinforced for using the strategy or skill over time?
d. What changes would I make to this lesson plan?
9. What else?
a. How will I provide or arrange for accommodations for students with disabilities?
b. Will I use tutors?
c. Will I encourage students to arrange study groups that meet outside of class?
d. Will I invite any outside speakers?
e. Other considerations: