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Lesson Plan

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Once a curriculum map has been created, one can begin to plan individual lessons/sessions. 

Lesson plans provide the blueprints for successful learning experiences. A well-constructed lesson plan clearly communicates intended learning by articulating activities that enable students to achieve learning outcomes. Plans help create a cohesive flow to the delivery, mastery, and assessment of new knowledge and skills. Moreover, structured lessons promote effective use of time and the identification of required resources. Not only are lesson plans effective organizational tools for faculty, they also benefit students by supporting clear, consistent, and balanced course delivery.

To learn more, see The Art of Lesson Planning article in the Academic Newsletter.

The following structure works very well to take one topic/session from your curriculum map and turn it into a lesson. The Lesson Plan Template (.docx) is available for you to use. To complete the template/document, replace the questions and prompts with answers relevant to the lesson you are planning.

Elements of a Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan Information
Course Title:
Class Date:
Lesson Title:

Learning Outcome(s) Addressed
Which course learning outcomes does this lesson address? (These will be taken from course outline.)

What is the point of this lesson? How does it fit into the course? You should focus on the purpose during planning & delivery of this lesson.

Class Objectives
List1-2 objectives you will be able to assess or evaluate by end of class.
Ensure the objectives are related to the learning outcome(s) and class content and are measurable and observable.

Bridge-In / Hook
How will you grab the learners’ attention, and provide them with some reason to be interested, and/or some motivation to become involved?
Illustrate the relevance of the lesson topic. Students want to know, “What is in it for me?” and “Why does this matter?” (“So what?”)
How does this lesson fit with the previous one?

Lesson Requirements
What has to be done (by you and/or the students) to prepare for class?
Include the required readings – what knowledge must the students have in order to follow the lesson?

To identify learners’ pre-existing knowledge and prior experience, answer the following questions

    • What does the learner already know about the topic(s)?
    • What questions do the learners have about the topic?
    • What pre-existing knowledge do the students need in order to be prepared for this lesson?
    • How will you “quickly” find out if they have this information/knowledge?

How will you fill in the gaps if they don’t have this information?
Anticipate disparity among your learners, and devise strategies to cope with this.
This informs the depth, pace and strategies for the lesson.

Content / Teaching & Learning
Input from you – main content: ideas, concepts, information, principles, procedures and examples.
Guided practice – application of knowledge: classroom activities for students, problems to solve, discussions, etc.

It is recommended that you break any lecture-type presentation into 10-to-15-minute segments, separated by a class activity.

What documents, technology, etc. are required for the lesson?

This summary activity wraps up the learning experience. It consolidates the learning by emphasizing the key lessons, making links to other parts of the course, and connecting the content to real-world applications or future lessons. How can you help students to consolidate their new & existing knowledge?
Put the learning into a larger context (i.e., where have we come – where are we going to next?)

Checking for Understanding (Formative Assessments)
How will you know students have learned what you intended? How will they know? How will you check this, and at what point(s) in the lesson? Ensure this section is related to the objective and the learning outcome(s).

Link to Next Lesson/Topic
How does this lesson fit with the next one?
How does this lesson fit with your overall Assessment Plan?
How does this lesson relate to assignments, readings, further work you would like students to complete?
When planning this lesson, how will you take student accommodations into consideration?

Links and Resources:

“Stop Lecturing Me” (Scientific American)

“Why Long Lectures are Ineffective” (Time)

“Characteristics of Engaged Learners vs. Disengaged Learners” (Educational Technology and Mobile Learning)

“Encouraging Student Participation: Why It Pays to Sweat the Small Stuff” (Faculty Focus)

“Avoiding the Trap of “Q & A” Teaching” (Edutopia)

“Effective Ways to Structure Discussion” (Faculty Focus)

“How to Engage Underperforming Students” (Edutopia)
- Check the “How its Done” area below the video for great tips on lesson planning

“Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding”
- Scroll down the page to see “53 Ways to Check for Understanding”

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