How to Plan Lessons for Effective Teaching
An effective teaching style is based on a good lesson plan. Although many trainers miss on it, the lesson plan is great support for teachers. It helps to think about the overall flow of the time during the lesson and manage the points, tasks, and topics accordingly. Usually, this plan acts as a guarantee of an interactive lesson and the learners’ satisfaction. Those education providers who want to attract as many learners as possible by offering engaging training, first of all, should identify how to plan lessons. In the present article, we will discuss the details of this question together.
Essential Components to Determine for a Good Lesson Plan
Let’s define the most essential points, trainers or coaches need to take into consideration when planning their lessons.
#1 The Objective
To start the lesson, you need to attract the learners’ attention and fully engage them. First of all, choose a topic (heading of the lesson) that will immediately increase the reader’s attention. For instance, if you are an online marketing consultant and your lesson is about content marketing rules, you may write something like “ Top 8 Rules Every Content Writer Should Follow” or “What will Help You Reach Efficiency in Content Writing”.
This objective is the essential point that prompts the learners forward and makes them think that all their questions related to the topic will be answered during the lesson.
Besides, a good objective is the basis of an effective plan and accordingly, a useful lesson. If you do not have an appealing objective that is also required in the market then there is no need to go on. So, pay attention to discovering good lessons or online course topic ideas.
#2 The Body
Once you have already identified an active objective for your lesson plan, you should go on for the body. Some specialists offer to ask questions and organize the continuation according to the answers. Even if you choose another option, make sure to have the overall plan so that you can manage the time and properly organize the lesson.
The most essential thing to consider is time management. During the lesson, you should clearly know how much time is planned to spend on specific activities. This is essential in organizing your time effectively as well as in evoking trust among the audience. When you have a plan and you fluently pass from this activity to that, following this plan, you look professional, and people who participate in the lesson trust you.
#3 The Reflection
The next point is reflection. Ask the students about the knowledge they have acquired, no matter academic, or social.
Do not forget to ask about the learners’ opinions about your lesson as well as their preferences: what they would like to add or leave. This will help you understand the weaknesses of your plan and increase the quality of your teaching services, meeting the demand in the market.
5 Tips to Develop an Effective Lesson Plan
When you are already familiar with the components of the lesson plan, it’s time to consider your actions to develop one. In this process, you will need some advice. Below I’m going to mention some tips that will help to manage the process in the best possible way. Come on!
#1 Identify Your Objective
When deciding on creating a lesson plan, your first step is to determine the points or topics you want students to learn and be able to do after completing the class. In order to specify your objectives for the final outcome, you are recommended to answer several questions, including
- What is the topic of your lesson?
- What do you want students to learn?
- What do you want them to take away from this particular lesson?
The next step should be ranking them in terms of their importance. This step will help you manage the class time and accomplishing more important learning objectives. This will help in cases you are pressed for time:
- What are the most critical concepts, ideas, or skills you want students to be able to grasp and apply?
- Why are they important?
- What points may be skipped in case you ran out of time?
- And conversely, which ones must be completed even if pressed for time?
#2 Think about the Introduction
Now when you have the clear objectives of your lesson, and the topics classified according to their importance, you may decide how to start your lesson. This will be the introduction that should represent the expected lesson and engage the learners in the further activities.
As I have already mentioned, you may start with questions. It will help you understand the background knowledge of the learners and decide the continuation of the teaching process. The beginning activities should be engaging to make the process as smooth as possible. In this part of the plan, think about interactive ways to find out what your students know about the topic.
#3 Plan Specific Activities
Classify all the activities you are going to include during the lesson. This may be related to topic explanation, tasks, discussions, games, etc. Do your best to incorporate student interests into your lessons. Keep in your mind that people learn what they want to learn. So, you should, first of all, discover their interests and work them into your lessons, and they'll pay attention and learn more. Take the learners’ needs into consideration.
Select purposeful activities and assignments. The best activities keep the learners actively engaged and involve as many senses as possible. To increase engagement, you may rely on educational games. These days, gamification is essential in education. It makes the learning process fun and enjoyable.
Plan every point of the lesson in detail. Make sure you do not miss anything because this may cause confusion during the active process. Divide the overall lesson into different parts and prepare separate activities for each part.
I have prepared several questions that will help you plan the main body of your lesson. Here we are:
- What will you do to explain the topic?
- What will you do to illustrate the topic in a different way?
- How can you engage students in the topic?
- What are some relevant real-life examples, analogies, or situations that can help students understand the topic?
- What will students need to do to help them understand the topic better?
These questions will help you think about additional solutions that may be required during the lesson.
#4 Prepare Check for Understanding
This is somehow a conclusion of the lesson plan. You should ask learners about their opinion and level of satisfaction with your lesson. This may be also found out through interactive tests or similar tasks that will show how well your topics are understood. Tests and quizzes are very essential, especially in eLearning. Test automation saves a lot of time that was previously spent on mechanical and boring work.
#5 Manage Your Time
Time is money. Each of us gets 24 hours daily equally but we use it in different ways. Not everybody is able to manage the given time and use it effectively. When creating a plan for your lesson you should pay significant attention to the time. This will help to organize the lesson effectively and reach better results.
You will be aware of every minute spent so that no essential info will be missed. When you prepare the activities of the lesson considering the factor of time, everything goes smoothly. You know how much time is devoted to the topic introduction, explanation, tasks, questions, etc. So, everything is implemented as planned.
However, sometimes you need to think about some changes in time. Maybe students are familiar with the topic and it takes less time than you have thought. For such cases, you should have an additional plan, maybe some interactive discussions or tasks. And vice versa is also possible. Sometimes it may take more time to explain the topic so that the learners fully understand it. You should have the points classified according to their importance so that no critical info is missed.
To Sum Up
In order to be effective, the lesson plan does not have to be an exhaustive document that describes each and every possible scenario. Nor does it have to anticipate each and every student’s response or question. Instead, it should provide you with a general outline of your teaching goals, learning objectives, and means to accomplish them. It is a reminder of what you want to do and how you want to do it. A productive lesson is not one in which everything goes exactly as planned, but one in which both students and instructors learn from each other. As it is said, teaching is learning twice. Keep going on!