Planning a Successful Lesson

Four Steps to Planning Successful Lessons

There is such a range of excellent resources available for teachers today that it is easy to fall into the trap of choosing an activity first and planning your lesson around the activity! Unfortunately, many who plan their lessons from this point are often left wondering what went wrong – why didn’t the lesson, which contained such great activities, work?

There are four basic questions you need to answer to plan successful lessons.


What background information, knowledge, or skill/s do the students already possess? What is it that the students already know? This is the starting point for the lesson you’re planning.


What is my end result for this lesson?  What knowledge, understanding, or skill/s do I want the students to demonstrate by the end of the lesson? I.e. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to ……………………….


What do I need the students to do or produce to lead them to the understanding, knowledge, or skill/s taught in the lesson! What resources and activities will bring the students to the lesson objective/s?


What activities will provide me with the evidence I need to demonstrate that the students have achieved the lesson objective/s?

 To summarize:

  1. Prior Knowledge: building on what the students already know or can do.
  2. Lesson Objective: by the end of the lesson, students will be able to…….
  3. Learning Outcomes: what will the students do or produce?
  4. Evidence/Assessment: how will I know/measure the level of understanding or skill the students have gained?

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