Lewin, Santa Barbara City College, Learning Specialist
is to allow you to save time while lesson planning by quickly
reviewing many of the important options you can decide to use.
The goal is to assist
you as you customize a lesson plan format to fit the purpose
of each of your courses so you ensure the maximal learning for
all students, plus integrate a variety of methods to increase
student engagement in your lessons.
options offered below are presented both as questions to consider
and respond to in writing, and as checklists for checking off
your choices. You may wish to focus only on certain elements
of the options below. A practical way to approach this is to choose
the most relevant sections first, and add the others into your
plan as you see fit.
a. What are my
learning objectives, the specific aims to realize my course
goals? (State in behaviors that can be assessed, formally
or informally.) Students will:
b. What is the topic
of today's class? Map the organization of the major ideas/ content
on another sheet or type in the text box below.
c. Within which larger
unit or background of knowledge does this fit?
How will I set rapport,
create a learning context, motivate and connect with students' background
experiences and knowledge? Do I need to give a pretest to see where
the students are in their understanding?
(e.g.:. CAT - background
knowledge probe; class discussion; quick write; discuss with partner
or in small group a specific teacher-designed question, motivational
How will I engage the students
in the following communication modalities?
a. In which phase(s)
of the mental act will students be engaged?
b. What modality or language
will I use to communicate?
What modality or language
will I ask the students to use to communicate?
c. Which of the possible
learning styles of the students will I address?
(sees from multiple perspectives)
b. active experimentation
(learns by doing something with it)
a. global; grasps whole picture
b. sequential; specific details in order
(prefers to implement)
(both internal and external)
d. Would Kolb's learning
cycle be relevant? Will I create an experience, allow students to
reflect upon the experience, encourage students to conceptualize
in an abstract way about it, and then actively test out their concepts,
conclusions or models?
e. What do I need to
make or arrange for in order to teach in a multi-modality way?
on the Thinking and Conceptual Framework
a. What kinds of thinking
will students be doing according to Bloom's taxonomy?
recall of knowledge
b. Other mental abilities
fluency (lots of ideas)
fluidity (making connections)
c. What kinds of relationships
do I want students to identify with, think in terms of, and work
with? These may relate to text styles in the reading or rhetorical
styles in writing.
descriptive (parts within whole)
comparison and/or contrast or similarities and/or differences
deliberation (pros and cons/advantages and disadvantages)
sequential order (time, rank, enumeration, importance)
process (series of steps in a process, cycle, flowchart, feedback
loop, iterative process)
causality (cause and effect; occurrence and consequence, causal
d. Given the subject
matter I wish to cover, what skills do the students need to learn?
In what operations (internalized, organized, coordinated set of
actions used to elaborate information) do students need to engage
to be able to master the course's content?
seriation, hypothetical, syllogistic, analogical, or inferential
reasoning; inductive or deductive approach to the task or material).
Given all the above, what
learning activities would best fit today's lesson? How will I introduce
them: short, paced activities within a lecture; whole class activity;
lecture followed by activity? Some options to promote active learning
are listed below.
What is the learning difficulty?
Consider quantity, complexity, interest, student background, relevance,
organization, abstraction and efficiency.
a. How much material
should we cover in one day?
b. How complex should
the lesson be (the number and degree of novelty of units)?
c. What is the level
of student interest? How will I engage students' interest and motivation?
d. What level of background
knowledge exists within the class for this topic?
e. How relevant is this
lesson to their lives and futures? Will it draw out their potentials?
f. How will I make organization
overt, or structure it?
g. What levels of abstraction
will be required from students?
h. What level of efficiency
(rapidity/precision or degree of effort) should I expect?
the Task & Choosing or Designing a Learning Strategy
The strategy can be demonstrated
during the presentation of your content material. Guided practice
could be done after the lecture (in class or online). Application
could be done as a homework assignment.
a. Analyze the Task:
What set of steps should students go through to master this skill
or knowledge? Turn the important steps into a learning strategy,
or choose an existing strategy that conveys clearly how to learn
your subject matter.
visualizing and summarizing, SQ5R for reading and studying a textbook,
Cornell 6-R notetaking procedure, step-by-step writing procedure,
analyzing an article, research a topic, write a lab report, perform
calculations, prepare a speech, etc.)
b. Sequence and Pacing:
What sequence and pacing would be best? Lay out the sequence of
activities of your lesson plan on another sheet of paper or type
out an outline below using the text box.
c. Modeling: How will
I describe how to go about doing this task? How will I model it?
What language will I use to show students how I think as I approach
and engage in the task?
d. Guided Practice and
Scaffolding: What is the best way for me to give the students feedback
about how they are doing? How will I "scaffold" or support
their practice of the task? How can I give them an experience of
success using easier material before moving to the targeted level,
and gradually remove the support as they gain mastery?
e. Application and Self-Regulation:
What in-class work could students do to apply the strategy with
grade-appropriate materials? How will I teach them to monitor themselves
when doing homework assignments to encourage self-regulation and
a. How will I evaluate
the students' mastery of content?
Multiple choice or short answer test
E-mail or bulletin board discussion
Oral quiz with tutors
Taped recorded answers to questions
Journals with self-reflective comments
b. Long-term retrieval:
What do they need to remember? What exam preparation could I facilitate?
What mnemonic devices would fit my specific content?
How will I encourage students to transfer their knowledge and skills
to other contexts? How will students be reinforced for using the
strategy or skill over time?
d. What changes would
I make to this lesson plan?
a. Will I provide any
resources or information not found in the texts or course materials?
If so, what, and in what form?
b. Will I use tutors?
If so, how?
c. Will I encourage students
to arrange study groups that meet outside of class? Note details
d. Will I invite any
outside speakers? List details here.
e. How will I provide
or arrange for accommodations for students with disabilities?
f. Other considerations:
Thomas and Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.
Ronald C. Dialogic Education: Conversation About Ideas and Between
Persons. Carbondale &Edwardsville: So. Illinois University
David. Web Teaching. New York: Plenum, 1977.
Janis A., Donald D. Deshler and Jean B. Schumaker. The Content
Enhancement Series. Lawrence: Edge Enterprises, 1993-95.
Doris. Strategic Learning in the Content Areas. Madison: WI
et. al. Learning Strategies Curriculum. Lawrence: University
of Kansas Institute for Research and Learning, 1985-2000.
R. and Jensen M. R. "Instrumental Enrichment: Theoretical Basis,
Goals, and Instruments." The Educational Reform, May 1980
Reuven, with Rand, Y., Hoffman, M. and Miller R. Instrumental Enrichment.
Baltimore: University Park Press. 1980.
Mary and Jann E. Freed. Learner-Centered Assessment on College
Campuses. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000.
Beau F., A.S. Palinscar, D. Ogle, and E. G. Carr. Strategic Teaching
and Learning: Cognitive Instruction in the Content Areas. Alexandria:
Chet and Thomas B. Jones. Promoting Active Learning: Strategies
for the College Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.
Richard. "The Elements of Reasoning." 12th International
Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform. Sonoma State
University. Aug. 1992.