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Lesson Plans

Lesson plans are necessary, not just because an administrator monitors them or a substitute needs them, but because you need to plan what you teach -- not just let it happen.  

Lesson plans guide our teaching and insure that we cover the necessary goals and objectives required by state standards.  Using computer technology will make lesson planning quick and easy.

 
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Quick Links

 

Basics
 
  • Know and follow your school and district requirements for lesson plans.
  • In writing lesson plans, be as brief and concise as possible.  However, if a substitute is expected to use your lesson plans to teach, you must provide as much detail and description as possible.
  • Use abbreviations to save space and time (for example, SWBAT = student will be able to).  Provide an alphabetized glossary of frequently used abbreviations at the front of your lesson plans.  NOTE – Do NOT use this technique if a substitute will be using your lesson plans to teach!
  • If your district is using lesson plan software, fantastic!  If not, encourage them to at least use Microsoft Word (or other word processing software) for developing and writing lesson plans.  Handwritten lesson plans are a thing of the past -- you cannot spend hours writing lesson plans by hand!  This is a task a computer can help you do easily and efficiently.
  • Make a cheat sheet -- Open a blank document and type in lists of activities, textbook names, objectives, etc.  Cut and paste items from your "cheat sheet" into your lesson plans.
  • Use bold type, italics, color, and underlining to make sections easier to locate.

 

Lesson Plans -- Step By Step
 
  • Step 1 (What To Teach) – Hopefully, you will not have to develop lesson plans from scratch.  Most states have learning standards which must be followed.  Districts and schools have developed benchmarks which give you a time line for what you need to teach.  Consult your school’s requirements for what objectives should be taught each grading period.  Many districts have also developed extensive plans which include textbook pages, suggested activities, games, Internet resources, etc.)
  • Step 2 (Assessment) -- Though this might seem out of order, you should plan your assessment next.  Decide what you want your students to know and how they will demonstrate this knowledge.  Consider both the state standards and state assessment questions.  You should include assessment items similar to the format of state-mandated tests but do not limit your assessment to such items.  Also, plan how you will modify this assessment for special needs students.
  • Step 3 (Critical Information) -- Determine what critical information students must know to master the objective and plan ways to drill and reinforce this information throughout the course of your lesson.
  • Step 4 (Vocabulary) -- Determine essential vocabulary for understanding the lesson and develop activities for reinforcing this vocabulary.
  • Step 5 (Study Guide) -- Develop study guides based on your assessment for students to work with and study.
  • Step 6 (Pre-requisite Skills) -- Do a task analysis of the objective you are teaching.  What are the prerequisite skills that students must know to master this objective?  Do they have these skills?  If not, you will need to plan to cover these missing skills.
  • Step 7 (Develop Instructional Plan) – Finally, put together your instructional plan.  Develop your introduction, lessons, practice activities, and homework assignments. 
 
  • If you have set up your curriculum file, lesson planning will be quick and easy.  After deciding which objective you are teaching, pull your file for that objective.  Look through your materials and decide whether you have everything you need.  In the future, this will be a good place to file past lesson plans for consultation and improvement.  Also, keep computer files so you can easily update and improve your lesson plans.
  • Make sure your plans include a variety of activities.  Multi-sensory activities are excellent for involving all students.  Also, provide time for students to journal about what they have learned – provide word lists and examples to aid students who have difficulty with written language.
  • Use review activities that focus on the items you have on your assessment – bingo games, Jeopardy, etc.  Use these throughout the lesson cycle.
  • If you have planned your lesson with an eye toward assessment, your students will do well on testing day.
  • Planning for state-mandated testing – You must maintain skills already learned.  Have frequent review days to go over previous skills.  Homework can also include short reviews of learned skills.

 

Lesson Plans -- Special Education
 
  • There is no such thing as a “Special Education Lesson Plan.”  General education teachers and special education teachers must develop lesson plans based on state and district standards.  For both, the first step is to determine what objective is being taught, do a task analysis on the objective to determine necessary pre-requisite skills, and then develop accommodations so that all students can master the objective.

 

Lesson Plan Components and Forms
Blank 8-Step Lesson Plan Template
United States
(k6educators.about.com)
Components of a Lesson Plan by Madeline Hunter
Brief synopsis of lesson plan components
University of Alberta, Canada.
(www.uofaweb.ualberta.ca)
Constructivist Learning Design
Detailed description of constructivist learning design.
United States
(www.prainbow.com)
Constructivist Learning Design Links
Links to several other web pages about constructivism.
United States
(www.prainbow.com)
Constructivist Learning Design Notes
Brief, simplified description of constructivist learning design.
United States
(www.prainbow.com)
Creating Lesson Plans: Common Mistakes
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Direct Teaching of Thinking
Akron Global Polymer Academy, University of Akron, Ohio, United States.
(agpa.uakron.edu)
Excel Lesson Plan Template
Excel spreadsheet.
United States
(www.teachnet.com)
Formatting Lesson Plans: The Madeline Hunter Lesson Design Model
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Forms for Writing Daily/Weekly Lesson Plans
Pickens County Schools, South Carolina, United States.
(www.pickens.k12.sc.us)
High School Lesson Plan Template
Microsoft Word document.
McCreary County Public Schools, Kentucky, United States.
(www.mccreary.k12.ky.us)
How Do I Write an Instructional Objective?
University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)
How To Find New and Creative Lesson Plans
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Individual Lesson Plan
Microsoft Word document.
United States
(www.education-world.com)
The Learning Cycle
Akron Global Polymer Academy, University of Akron, Ohio, United States.
(agpa.uakron.edu)
The Lesson Architect
Free online lesson planning.  Step by step procedure to create standard based lesson plans.
United States
(lessonarchitect.uwf.edu)
Lesson Plan Components
El Concilio of San Mateo County, California, United States.
(www.el-concilio.com)
Lesson Plan Core Components
University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Ontario, Canada.
(education.uoit.ca)
Lesson Plan Template
Lesson plan template available as HTML, Microsoft Word, or WordPerfect.
United States
(www.lessonplanspage.com)
Lesson Plan Template (K-5)
Lesson plan template available as a Microsoft Word document.
Trenton Public Schools, New Jersey, United States.
(www.trenton.k12.nj.us)

Lesson Plan Template (6-8)
Lesson plan template available as a Microsoft Word document.
Trenton Public Schools, New Jersey, United States.
(www.trenton.k12.nj.us)

Lesson Planning
Learning module from the University of Missouri-Columbia, United States.
(www.coe.missouri.edu)
LessonPro.Net
Free program provided by Strategic Studies that allows teachers to write lessons and students to study the lessons on-line via internet browsers from anywhere around the world at anytime.
United States
(www.lessonpro.net)
Monthly Planning Guide
Microsoft Word document.
United States
(www.education-world.com)
NCRTEC Lesson Planner
Online lesson planning form from the North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium, United States.
(www.ncrtec.org)
Project SPIRAL: Suggested Lesson Plan Components
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Teacher Education Center, Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States.
(www.tec.iup.edu)
Sample First Grade Lesson Plan
Microsoft Word document (legal size, 1 page).
United States
(www.mrsperkins.com)
Sample First Grade Lesson Plan
Microsoft Word document (letter size, 2 pages).
United States
(www.mrsperkins.com)
Weekly Assignment Sheet Generator
United States
(www.teach-nology.com)
Weekly Lesson Plan Forms
United States
(donnayoung.org)
Weekly Lesson Plans
Microsoft Word document.
North Canton City Schools, Ohio, United States.
(www.northcanton.sparcc.org)
Weekly Planning Guide: Elementary
Microsoft Word document.
United States
(www.education-world.com)
Weekly Planning Guide: Secondary
Microsoft Word document.
United States
(www.education-world.com)
What are Instructional Objectives?
University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)
What is a Lesson Plan?
University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)
What is a Unit Plan?
University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)
Why Should Teachers Classify Objectives?
University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)

 

How To Write Lesson Plans
Discovery School's Lesson Planner
United States
(school.discoveryeducation.com)

The Helpful Hundred
One hundred verbs that highlight performance.  Each of these verbs is observable and measurable. University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)

How to Write an Assessment Based on an Objective
United States
(www.adprima.com)
How to Write a Lesson Plan
Eastern Michigan University, Michigan, United States.
(www.emunix.emich.edu)
How to Write a Lesson Plan
United States
(k6educators.about.com)
Instructional Methods: Activities to Include in Your Lesson Plans
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Lesson Plans the Easy Way
United States
(www.adprima.com)
Planning for Instruction
Online modules for developing unit plans and lesson plans.
University of Tennessee, Tennessee, United States.
(itc.utk.edu)
Planning to Plan
Pickens County Schools, South Carolina, United States.
(www.pickens.k12.sc.us)
Six Common Mistakes in Writing Lesson Plans
United States
(www.adprima.com)
Some Basic Lesson Presentation Elements
Humboldt State University, California, United States.
(www.humboldt.edu)
10 Steps to Developing a Quality Lesson Plan
United States
(www.lessonplanspage.com)
Tips for Creating Lesson Plans for Grades 3-9
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Tips for Finding Help When Developing Lesson Plans
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Tips for Incorporating Technology and Multimedia Into Lesson Plans
United States
(math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org)
Write a Lesson Plan Guide
United States
(www.eduref.org)
Writing Lesson Plans - Introductory Page
Huntington College, Indiana, United States.
(www.huntington.edu)

 

Allowing For Differences
Ability and Instructional Grouping Information
United States
(www.adprima.com)
Critical Thinking on the Web
A directory of quality online resources.
United States
(www.austhink.org)
Differentiated Instruction
Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, United States.
(webhost.bridgew.edu)
Differentiated Instruction
United States
(www.cast.org)
Differentiated Instruction
United States
(www.doctorgus.net)
Differentiated Instruction
United States
(www.ed.gov)
Differentiated Instruction
United States
(www.education-world.com)
Differentiated Instruction
Learning Disabilities Association of America, United States.
(www.ldanatl.org)
Differentiated Instruction
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, United States.
(www.ncsall.net)
Differentiated Instruction
Newark Public Schools, Newark, New Jersey, United States.
(www.nps.k12.nj.us)
Differentiated Instruction
United States
(newhorizons.org)
Differentiated Instruction
Wisconsin Education Association Council, United States.
(www.weac.org)
Differentiated Instruction and Resources
United States
(www.differentiatedresources.com)
Differentiated Instruction for Math
United States
(www.k8accesscenter.org)
Differentiated Instruction for the Gifted
United States
(www.kidsource.com)
Differentiated Instruction: Links
United States
(www.internet4classrooms.com)
Differentiated Instruction Templates
Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services, New York, United States.
(www.demoboces.com)
Differentiated Learning
United States
(www.atozteacherstuff.com)
Differentiated Learning Articles
United States
(www.edarticle.com)
Differentiating Instruction
United States
(www.ascd.org)
Differentiating Instruction
United States
(www.ascd.org)
Differentiating Instruction
Canada
(www.enhancelearning.ca)
Differentiating Instruction
United States
(www.learnerslink.com)
Differentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners In the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom
Los Angeles Unified School District, Los Angeles, California, United States.
(www.lausd.k12.ca.us)
How to Differentiate Instruction
United States
(www.teach-nology.com)
Instructional and Management Strategies
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, Maryland, United States.
(www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org)
Layered Curriculum
Commercial website with sample sheets, free newsletter, and teaching tips.
United States
(www.help4teachers.com)
Learning Styles
A chart showing characteristics of Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic and Tactile learners. Chaminade College Preparatory, California, United States.
(www.chaminade.org)
Links on Differentiating Instruction
Canada
(www.enhancelearning.ca)
Multiple Intelligence and Learning Styles
Canada
(www.casacanada.com)
Nine Types of Adaptations
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States.
(www.uni.edu)
The "OOPS" Differentiated Instruction Page
United States
(www.oops.bizland.com)
Resources for Creativity and Innovation
The Creativity Web, a website developed by Charles Cave.
Australia
(members.optusnet.com.au)
Strategies for Differentiating
Canada
(www.enhancelearning.ca)
Teacher Resources from SDE
United States
(www.sde.com)
Technology Tips for Differentiated Instruction
United States
(www.edgateway.net)
What is Differentiated Instruction?
Kenton County School District, Kentucky, United States.
(www.kenton.k12.ky.us)
What is Differentiated Instruction?
Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento, California, United States.
(www.scusd.edu)

 

Lesson Plan Sites
A to Z Teacher Stuff for Teachers
Free online lesson plans.
United States
(www.atozteacherstuff.com)
The Academy Curricular Exchange
Online lesson plans sponsored by the Organization for Community Networks.
United States
(ofcn.org)
Alfy’s Lesson Builder
United States
(www.alfy.com)
Alliance to Save Energy
United States
(www.ase.org)
CEC Lesson Plans
Lesson plans developed by the Columbia Education Center.
United States
(www.col-ed.org)
Core Knowledge Lesson Plans
United States
(coreknowledge.org)
The Curriculum Archive
United States
(www.buildingrainbows.com)
Free Lesson Plans and Activities
United States
(www.mrdonn.org)
Free Lesson Plans for Teaching Children
United States
(www.christiananswers.net)
Free Lesson Plans from the San Diego Museum of Man
San Diego, California, United States.
(www.museumofman.org)
Free Lessons
United States
(www.teachercreated.com)

Galeschools.com
Educational publisher.
United States
(www.galeschools.com)

Gateway to Educational Materials
United States
(www.thegateway.org)
Kidzonline
Lesson plans for grades 6 to 12.
United States
(www.kidzonline.org)
LearningPage.com
Huge collection of resources.
United States
(www.learningpage.com)
Lesson Plan Collections
United States
(www.proteacher.com)

Lesson Plan Directory
Online directory of free lesson plans.
United States
(www.forlessonplans.com)

Lesson Plan Index
United States
(www.readwritethink.org)
The Lesson Plan Library
United States
(school.discoveryeducation.com)
Lesson Plan Search
United States
(www.lessonplansearch.com)

Lesson Plans
United States
(www.awesomelibrary.org)

Lesson Plans
Links to lesson plans.
California State University Northridge, Northridge, California, United States.
(www.csun.edu)

Lesson Plans
United States
(www.eduref.org)
Lesson Plans
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, United States.
(www.mcrel.org)
Lesson Plans
United States
(www.teacherease.com)
Lesson Plans
United States
(www.teachnet.com)
Lesson Plans
United States
(www.theteacherscorner.net)
Lesson Plans and Resources
From UNICEF, International.
(www.unicefusa.org)
LessonPlansPage.com
Sponsored by HotChalk this site contains over 3,500 free lesson plans.
United States
(www.lessonplanspage.com)
Lesson Plans by Subject
United States
(www.teach-nology.com)
Lesson Plans for Free
United States
(www.homeschooling.gomilpitas.com)

Lesson Tutor
Reproducible free lesson plans, worksheets, and cross curriculum units.
United States
(www.lessontutor.com)

LessonPlansPage.com
Over 3,500 free lesson plans sponsored by HotChalk.
United States
(www.lessonplanspage.com)
LessonPlanz.com
Searchable directory of free online lesson plans and lesson plan resources.
United States
(www.lessonplanz.com)
Marc Sheehan’s Lesson Plans Page
United States
(www.halcyon.com)
Microsoft Lesson Plans for Students and Educators
United States
(www.microsoft.com)
Mrs. Donn's Lesson Plans
U.S. History lesson plans for grades K to 12.
United States
(members.aol.com)
PBS Teachers
United States
(www.pbs.org)
Preschool Lesson Plans
United States
(www.funlessonplans.com)
Smithsonian Education – Lesson Plans
United States
(smithsonianeducation.org)

TeachableMoment.org
Teaching ideas to encourage critical thinking on issues of the day.
United States
(www.teachablemoment.org)

Teachernet – Useful Lesson Plans
United Kingdom
(www.teachernet.gov.uk)

TeachersFirst.com
Collection of lessons, units, and web resources.
United States
(www.teachersfirst.com)

Timely Lessons and Units for All Your Teaching Needs
United States
(www2.scholastic.com)
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