Planning a lesson

Before teaching, deliberate lesson planning will ensure teaching and learning in the classroom is focused towards the achievement of long to medium term learning goals.

Group of five junior students in front of a plain green screen making a movie in a classroom setting. One male student is in front of a camera on a tripod. The camera is focused on three students who are waving directly at the camera. A fifth student is in the wings holding a microphone on a boom arm up to the three students being filmed.
Image: Planning for the lesson by having a clear purpose and learning intention, and knowing the required equipment, supports a successful lesson.

Without a plan, instruction can become a random assortment of activities with little rhyme or reason. Designing an effective lesson involves making decisions about:

  • what the students will learn
  • how you will know that the learning has taken place
  • how you intend students to learn it.

Lesson design process

This 4 step process supports the decision-making process and helps maintain a focus on learning:

  • Clarify the lesson purpose and identify the learning goal/ intention for the lesson:
    • What do you want the students to learn?
    • Why does this learning matter?
  • Consider assessment:
    • How will you know the learning goal has been achieved?
    • What will the students do/ produce?
  • Structure the lesson as a series of episodes:
    • How will the lesson flow to ensure the learning goal/ intention is achieved?
  • Decide what will occur within each episode:
    • Which learning experiences and resources best support achievement of the learning goal/ intention?
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