Lesson Plan Template
Dr. Susan Spangler, Instructor

Different instructors, school districts, or disciplines may have alternative forms for their lesson plans, and that's fine for them.  There is not one "right way" to write a lesson plan.  This template will give you an idea of what I expect in this class:

In a detailed lesson plan:

  • You state what you want students to learn (objectives)
  • You have a valid reason for wanting them to learn it (rationale/standards)
  • You choose appropriate methods to help then learn it (Activities/methods)
  • You find a valid way to tell whether or not they have learned it (assessments)
  • You assess your own teaching through reflection (analysis and reflection)

Rationale/Theoretical Overview
This section tells where you got the idea for your lesson.  What did you read that inspired you to write this lesson?  Is it related to another lesson you've done?  Who says that it's a good idea to teach this particular skill or lesson?  You should include any appropriate citations for the lesson.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Context
This section tells how and where the lesson fits into the school year and/or unit plan.  What do students need to have learned prior to the lesson?  What comes next?  Help the teacher understand how to get the most out of the plan by giving it at precisely the right time.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Objectives and NCTE/IRA Standards Addressed
This section clearly states what you want students to do/learn in a bulleted or numbered list.  It should also list the NCTE/IRA standards that the lesson touches on (this could be closely related to the rationale).  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Materials/Preparation
What does a teacher need to do before the lesson?  What materials does the teacher need to do the lesson?  Give the teacher that information here.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Activities/Instruction
In easy-to-follow format written for a well-qualified ELA substitute, describe what the teachers and students are supposed to do during the lesson.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Extensions (if applicable)
What else could the class do?  What are some ways to extend the lesson or provide enrichment to take the lesson to the next level?  Describe that here.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Plan B/Adaptations
This is the place to anticipate disaster.  How will you cope if someone has forgotten a vital document he or she needs to complete the activity?  What will you do if someone else is using the computer lab that day?  How can you adapt the lesson for different skill/knowledge levels within your class or for mainstreamed (included) students?  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Student Assessments/Reflections
What opportunities for reflection does this lesson provide for students?  What specific methods will you use (formal and/or informal) to see whether or not students achieved their objectives?  This section should be closely related to the objectives section.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Teacher Analysis of Methods
In this section, discuss the methods you used to teach the lesson, based on Cambourne's Conditions for Learning and on the recommendations from the National Curriculum Reports (handouts that you received earlier).  Do this before the lesson.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.

Reflection on Lesson
After you have taught the lesson, take about 10-15 minutes to write about how you think the lesson went.  Were there any surprises for you about what happened or how we or students reacted?  Did things go pretty much as you planned?  Were there time management or class management incidents that could have gone more smoothly?  Were there any trouble spots?  When did you say to yourself, “Next time, I’ll do…”?   Tell how you might revise the lesson in some way based on your reflection.  See the sample lesson plan for a sample of this section.