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A Basic New Teacher Guide for Planning a Lesson

written by: Doritsas • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 8/2/2012

The beginning, middle and end of a lesson should naturally flow and successfully engage students. This article provides educators with a step-by-step procedure for lesson planning.

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    You should start by writing the skills and sub skills you wish to teach. Make sure you limit yourself to no more than 2 main skills. A reading comprehension skill for example is finding the main idea. Ideally, you want to make sure that the skills also correspond with the educational standards and benchmarks for the grade and the state you teach.

    Then, prepare a great beginning that will engage your students. Great beginnings tap into what the students already know and set the stage for the middle part of the lesson when students confirm their predictions. Great beginnings should always be timed to no more more than 10 minutes. Encourage the students to also share their answers in pairs. One example of a great beginning activity is asking the students to come up with as many associations to the topic of "endangered animals" in ten minutes. This can be done individually or in pairs or groups.

    Prepare an engaging middle activity. You may need to use a textbook to help you with this. If you are using a reading comprehension text on endangered animals for instance, make sure that all three groups of students in the class can understand it. You may need to simplify some of the vocabulary or you may need to preteach some of the vocabulary. You may need to use some differentiated strategies for adapting instruction. Make sure the activities engage the higher, middle and lower performing groups.

    Now you will need an engaging ending that will stimulate your students and help them reflect on what they have already learned.For example, students can prepare oral presentations summing up what they have learned about endangered animals. Students can also reflect on how well they understood the text. An excellent ending activity is one that brings all three parts of the lesson together.

    Now take a look at the lesson plan you have created. Does it correspond with the educational standards of your subject content and grade? Are the activities particularly challenging for the higher performing students? Can the lower performing group complete at least one task with some degree of reasonable competency. Try not to overuse any activity and vary the mode of interaction using frontal work and pair or group wherever possible.

    Some last minute tips for lesson planning:

    1.New teacher especially over plan. Have a few emergency backup activities but avoid overplanning.

    2.Be flexible - you may need to stop the activity and do something else if students are not on task.

    3.Model the activity before expecting students to do the activity on their own. Always preteach the subskills and skills you expect students to do on their own. This will help them to become much more engaged with the activity.