A lesson plan is an invaluable resource for educators at all levels.
Without one, it’s difficult to keep track of your work day, especially if you’re teaching several subjects at once or are focusing on a dense topic. An efficient lesson plan is one of the most effective classroom management strategies to have in your back pocket.
In this article, we’ll break down the main components of an effective lesson plan and provide you with a free template to help get you started.
What to include in your lesson plan template
Lesson plans don’t have to be complex to be effective; you just need to make sure they’re thorough and accurately reflect what you need to get done. The structure of your lesson plan will grow and evolve as your classroom and teaching style does. That being said, every lesson plan has six main components.
Below, we’ll give you an overview of each component, explain what goes where, and share some helpful tips along the way.
Note: Want to cut to the chase? Download your free lesson plan template below.
1. Basic information
Think of this section as the “nuts and bolts” of your lesson plan. You’ll want to include a title, subject, and date. You could also include the level or relevant matching chapter if your lesson is based off a textbook or the amount of time you have allotted for the lesson.
Over the course of a school year or semester, you’re going to have quite a few of these. Give each lesson plan a unique title that speaks to its contents to help you stay organized.
2. Determine a lesson objective
Ask yourself: what will my students be able to do by the end of the day? This is the objective of your lesson plan. Every time you fill out a new template, you should outline exactly what your students will learn and what the end goal of your lesson is. If, at the end of your lesson, you don’t think you met the objective you set out to reach, you know you have some work to do.
3. Outline the necessary materials
For this section, list which materials are necessary to achieve the objective of your lesson. This could include textbooks, digital resources, or other classroom materials such as printouts that you want to have prepared before getting started.
4. Make a list of activities
This will make up the bulk of your lesson plan. In this section, you should list all the activities and action items that you’re responsible for leading. This could be a guided discussion with a list of questions to cover or a list of vocabulary words you need to run through. You have the freedom to make this is as thorough as you’d like, whatever will help you stay on track.
5. Define an assessment
Here is where you need to outline how your students will be tested on their knowledge after your lesson is complete. This could be a quiz, a longer test at a later date, or a homework assignment.
6. Include additional notes
This section is optional but can be incredibly useful if there’s something you want to add to your lesson plan that doesn’t fit elsewhere. By leaving a small section for additional notes, you have the freedom to go back and jot down any thoughts or ideas that may come up.
Let’s get to planning
Now comes the fun part! Being an educator is not an easy job - it requires a lot of prep work and planning in order to run and manage a successful classroom. By following these tips and using this free template as a starting resource, you’ll be on your way in no time.
If you prefer keeping your lesson plans organized digitally, consider investing in curriculum management software. To learn more and read reviews from real users, head to G2.
Izabelle is a Content Marketing Associate who joined G2 in April 2018. After earning a degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Izabelle moved back to her hometown of Chicago in pursuit of a career and deep dish pizza. Outside of work, she is passionate about all things pop culture, food, and travel. (she/her/hers)
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