• The Art Of Teaching – How To Plan Great Classes

Lesson plans are the key to planning great classes and are used to provide structure for your teaching. In other words, they provide a map for where you want to go and how you are going to get there. They should also highlight what learners will know or be able to do at the end of the class. But most importantly – try to keep them simple – otherwise you will get bogged down in minute detail.

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What to Include In Your Lesson Plan

The lesson plan might include some of the following details:

  • Date, time, duration of class
  • Aim/s of session
  • Learner outcomes
  • Teacher activities and timings
  • Learner activities and timings
  • Resources needed
  • Methods for checking learner understanding and outcomes

How Much Detail In The Lesson Plan?

There is some debate as to how much detail you should include in your class plans with some educators suggesting detailed timings for every part of the class. This might be helpful starting off as a trainer as you will need to manage your time carefully. But as you gain experience you might find micro managing the time somewhat restrictive and distracting from the core function of teaching.

Structuring Your Class Plans

There is a simple 3 phase structure you can apply to your class plans. Think of them in terms of:

  • Start
  • Middle
  • End

The start may include elements such as:

  • Greetings/Introductions
  • Outlining aims and outcomes for the class
  • Recapping of previous class
  • Starting a Discussion by checking for prior knowledge of subject

The middle could include elements such as:

  • Delivery of the main content
  • Reinforcement of key information
  • Periodically checking for understanding

The end may include elements such as:

  • Recapping and checking for learner outcomes and understanding
  • Questions, answers or feedback
  • Allocation of home studies and or preparations for next class

Devising lesson plans is a key skill in teaching and one you will need to develop. You may initially find it time consuming but it will become second nature as you progress through your teaching career. And remember – keep them simple.