Lesson Planning

Lesson Planning

Lesson plans help you to identify learning objectives, organize and deliver your course content, plan out learning activities and resources, and consider what assessments you might integrate into the class. Creating a lesson plan does not mean that you have to stick to the script; take it as a guide and modify your lesson to the needs of the students. 

Below are some suggested steps to follow in developing a lesson plan. It’s also important to share your lesson plan with your students at the start of the class. This helps students to stay on track and helps them to be more engaged. Let students know what you will be covering in the lesson both verbally and in writing (for example, write it out on a board or provide a hand-out). Students process information differently and so sharing lesson plans in more than one way helps to remove some barriers to learning.  

  • 1. Identify Learning Objectives

    Ask yourself what the learning objective is for the class. That is, what do you want students to be able to do or know after the lesson?

  • 2. Plan out Learning Activities

    There are lots of different learning activities you can incorporate into the class. Think about learning activities that allow students to interact with content and others, allow them to problem solve and think critically, and reflect on their learning. Obviously, a lot of your learning activities will center around practicing the techniques and skills you demonstrate. However, when your content is focused on topics such as history and entrepreneurship, it may be useful to have a look at Active Learning Classroom Activities by Western University. Also, when you think about the learning activities, ask yourself these questions: 

    • How will I explain or demonstrate the topic/skill? 
    • How can I explain or demonstrate the topic/skill in a different way? 
    • How can I get students engaged? 
    • What will the students need to help them understand what I want them to learn? 
    • What barriers might students face and how can I remove or reduce those barriers? Consider learner diversity in your classroom when thinking about this. 
  • 3. Plan Classroom Assessment Activities

    Think about what assessment activities you can incorporate into the lesson. Creating low-stakes or ungraded assessment (formative assessment) into the lesson is a great way to give students the opportunity to practice the skills and knowledge and give you the opportunity to provide feedback to further their learning. For some classroom assessment activity ideas, have a look at Classroom Assessment Techniques by Iowa State University

  • 4. Sequence the Activities

    Sequence the lesson in a meaningful way. For example: gain student attention, explain objectives of the lesson, tap into previous knowledge, present new information, provide opportunities for guidance, practice, and feedback, and wrap-up. When figuring out how much time and what activities you are planning, just remember to be flexible and adjust the lesson plan according to your students’ needs.  It may help to consider Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction to guide the sequence of your lesson.

  • 5. Plan for Lesson Wrap-Up

    Make sure there is time to wrap up the lesson at the end. This is a great time to highlight key concepts, correct students’ misunderstandings, make connections with other course concepts, have students reflect on what was learned, and explain upcoming topics. 

  • Sample Lesson Plan
    Learning Objectives 

    • Students will be able to thread a sewing machine on their own.  
    • Students will be able to name the main parts of a sewing machine. 
    Time  Activity  Details 
    9 am  Gaining interest  Show a picture of the oldest sewing machine and ask (by hand raising) what time period students think it is from. 
    9: 05 am  Tapping into prior knowledge  Find out what experience students have with using sewing machines through discussion. 
    9:10 am  Lesson plan  Go through what will be covered in the class today  
    9:20am   Content – main parts of sewing machine  Gets students to predict the names of main parts of a sewing machine using polls (show image of main part and give 4 possible answers).  
    9:40am  Trial and Error  Students will be shown what a correctly threaded sewing machine looks like. Students will try and figure out how to do it themselves. 
    10am  Demonstration  Show students how to correctly thread the sewing machine and explain main parts/names. Students will also be given a hand-out with the steps and invited to record the demonstration if they need. 
    10:20am  Practice, Guidance & Feedback – threading sewing machine (formative assessment- ungraded)  Students will practice threading a sewing machine in pairs. Circulate around the room and provide guidance and feedback. After students are able to do it in pairs, they will practice on their own. 
    10:40am  Practice – name main parts of sewing (formative assessment – ungraded)  Give students the same quiz (with questions about  the main parts of a sewing machine) again. 
    11am  Lesson wrap-up  Talk about what will be covered in the next lesson based on what was learned today. 
  • References

    Biggs, J. (2012). What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning. Higher Education Research & Development, 31(1), 39-55. 

    Fink, L. (2003). Integrated course design. Idea Paper #2, Retrieved from Idea_Paper_42.pdf (windows.net) 

    Lang, J. M. (2021). Small Teaching (2nd ed). John Wiley & Sons. 

    Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning. (2020). Gagné’s nine events of instruction. Instructional guide for university faculty and teaching assistants. Retrieved from https://www.niu.edu/citl/resources/guides/instructional-guide 

    Sawyer, R. K. (2017). Teaching creativity in art and design studio classes: A systematic literature review. Educational Research Review, 22: 99-113 

    St. Clair, R. (2015). Creating Courses for Adults: Design for Learning. Jossey-Bass