Strategies for effective lesson planning (2023)

Stiliana Milkova
Teaching and Learning Research Center

A lesson plan is the instructor's roadmap of what students need to learn and how it will be done effectively during class time. Before planning your lesson, you will first need to identify the learning objectives for the lesson. Then you can design appropriate learning activities and develop strategies for getting feedback on student learning. A successful lesson plan addresses and integrates these three key components:

  • Goals for student learning
  • Teaching/learning activities
  • Strategies for checking student understanding

Specifying concrete objectives for student learning will help you determine the types of teaching and learning activities you will use in the classroom, while these activities will define how you will verify that learning objectives have been achieved (see Fig. 1) .

Strategies for effective lesson planning (1)

Steps to prepare a lesson plan

Below are six steps to guide you as you create your first lesson plans. Each step is accompanied by a set of questions designed to stimulate reflection and help you plan your teaching and learning activities.

(Video) Lesson Planning Strategies & Tips

(1) Outline the learning objectives

The first step is to determine what you want students to learn and be able to do by the end of the lesson. To help you specify your goals for student learning, answer the following questions:

  • What is the topic of the class?
  • What do I want students to learn?
  • What do I want them to understand and be able to do at the end of the lesson?
  • What do I want them to take away from this particular lesson?

After outlining the learning objectives for the class meeting, rank them in terms of importance. This step will prepare you to manage class time and accomplish the most important learning objectives if you are pressed for time. Consider the following questions:

  • What are the most important concepts, ideas, or skills I want students to be able to understand and apply?
  • Why are they important?
  • If I ran out of time, which ones could not be omitted?
  • And conversely, which ones could I skip if pressed for time?

(2) Develop the introduction

Now that you have your learning objectives in order of importance, plan the specific activities you will use to get students to understand and apply what they have learned. As you will have a diverse body of students with different academic and personal backgrounds, they may already be familiar with the subject. That's why you might start with a question or activity to assess students' knowledge of the subject, or possibly their preconceived notions about the subject. For example, you could do a simple poll: “How many of you have heard of X? Raise your hand if you have. You can also collect background information from your students before class by sending students an electronic survey or asking them to write comments on index cards. This additional information can help shape your introduction, learning activities, etc. Once you have an idea of ​​students' familiarity with the topic, you will also have a sense of what to focus on.

Develop a creative introduction to the topic to spark interest and encourage thinking. You can use a variety of approaches to engage students (eg, personal anecdote, historical event, thought-provoking dilemma, real-world example, short video clip, practical application, probing question, etc.). Consider the following questions when planning your introduction:

(Video) Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning Instructional Video FINAL

  • How will I check if students know anything about the topic or have any preconceived ideas about it?
  • What are some common ideas (or possibly misconceptions) about this topic that students might be familiar with or adopt?
  • What will I do to introduce the theme?

(3) Plan specific learning activities (the main body of the lesson)

Prepare several different ways to explain the material (real-life examples, analogies, visual aids, etc.) to capture more students' attention and appeal to different learning styles. As you plan your examples and activities, estimate how much time you will spend on each one. Make time for extensive explanations or discussions, but also be prepared to move quickly to different applications or problems and to identify strategies that check understanding. These questions will help you design the learning activities you will use:

  • What will I do to explain the theme?
  • What will I do to illustrate the theme in a different way?
  • How can I engage students in the topic?
  • What are some examples, analogies, or relevant real-life situations that can help students understand the topic?
  • What do students need to do to help them better understand the topic?

(4) Plan to check understanding

Now that you've explained the topic and illustrated it with different examples, you need to check student comprehension – how will you know students are learning? Think of specific questions you can ask students to check for understanding, write them down, and then paraphrase them so you are prepared to ask the questions in different ways. Try to predict the responses your questions will generate. Decide whether you want students to respond orally or in writing. you can look atStrategies to expand student thinking, to help you generate some ideas, and you might also want to ask yourself these questions:

  • What questions will I ask students to check for understanding?
  • What will I ask students to demonstrate that they are following?
  • Going back to my list of learning objectives, what activity can I ask students to check if each one has been achieved?

An important strategy that will also help you with time management is to anticipate student questions. As you plan your lesson, decide which types of questions will be productive for discussion and which questions might disrupt the lesson. Think and decide on the balance between covering content (meeting your learning objectives) and ensuring students understand.

(5) Develop a conclusion and preview

Review the material covered in class, summarizing the main points of the lesson. You can do this in several ways: you can state the main points yourself (“Today we talked about…”), you can ask a student to help you summarize them, or you can even ask all students to write on a piece of paper. what they think were the main points of the lesson. You can review students' responses to gauge their understanding of the topic, and then explain anything that is not clear in the next class. Conclude the lesson not only by summarizing the main points, but also by looking forward to the next lesson. How does the topic relate to what's to come? This visualization will spark students' interest and help them connect the different ideas into a larger context.


(6) Create a realistic timeline

GSIs know how easy it is to run out of time and not cover all the many points they planned to cover. A list of ten learning objectives is unrealistic, so narrow your list down to two or three key concepts, ideas, or skills you want students to learn. Instructors also agree that they often have to adjust their lesson plan during class depending on what students need. Your list of prioritized learning objectives will help you make decisions on the spot and adjust your lesson plan as needed. Having additional examples or alternative activities will also allow you to be flexible. A realistic schedule will reflect your flexibility and readiness to adapt to the specific classroom environment. Here are some strategies for creating a realistic timeline:

  • Estimate how long each of the activities will take, then plan some extra time for each.
  • When preparing your lesson plan, next to each activity, indicate how long you expect it to take
  • Plan a few minutes at the end of class to answer any remaining questions and summarize key points.
  • Plan an extra activity or discussion question if you have extra time.
  • Be flexible – be ready to adjust your lesson plan to student needs and focus on what feels most productive rather than sticking to your original plan

Introducing the Lesson Plan

Letting your students know what they will learn and do in class will help keep them more engaged and on track. You can share your lesson plan by writing a brief agenda on the board or explicitly telling students what they will learn and do in class. You could outline the learning objectives for the class on the board or in a handout. Providing meaningful organization of class time can help students not only remember better, but also follow your presentation and understand the rationale behind classroom activities. Having a clearly visible agenda (eg on the board) will also help you and students stay on track.

Reflecting on your lesson plan

A lesson plan might not work out as well as you'd hoped due to a number of odd circumstances. You shouldn't be discouraged – this happens even to the most experienced teachers! Take a few minutes after each class to reflect on what worked well and why, and what you could have done differently. Identifying successful and less successful organization of class time and activities would facilitate adjustment to classroom contingencies. For additional feedback on planning and managing class time, you can use the following resources: student feedback, peer observation, viewing a videotape of your teaching, and consulting with a CRLT staff member (see also ,Improving Your Teaching: Getting Feedback, eEarly Feedback Form,


To be effective, the lesson plan need not be an exhaustive document that describes every possible classroom scenario. You also don't have to anticipate each student's answer or question. Instead, it should provide a general outline of your teaching goals, learning objectives, and means of achieving them. It's a reminder of what you want to do and how you want to do it. A productive class is not one where everything goes exactly as planned, but one where students and instructors learn from each other.

(Video) Effective Lesson Planning: Procedures and Tips

additional resources


Video clips from University of Michigan GSIs actively engaging students in a hands-on teaching session:

Plan Day One Session: How to create a lesson plan for the first day of school:


Fink, D.L. (2005). Integrated course design. Manhattan, KS: The IDEA Center.
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(Video) |Effective Lesson Planning||Tips For Effective Lesson Planning||Lesson Planning for Active Learning|


Strategies for effective lesson planning? ›

Effective teaching strategies include preplanning, outlining learning goals and criteria for success, and consistently providing feedback.

What are the most effective lesson planning strategies? ›

Here are some more tips on developing effective lesson plans:
  • Incorporate student interests into your lessons. ...
  • Select purposeful activities and assignments. ...
  • Make your lessons relevant. ...
  • Share lessons with your colleagues. ...
  • Refine lessons based on feedback.
Oct 1, 2011

What are the 5 important factors to consider when planning a lesson? ›

Here are our 5 things you need to know to create a great lesson plan:
  • Clear Goal/Objective. There is always something new for you to teach your students. ...
  • Anticipate Challenges. ...
  • Lesson Assessment. ...
  • Make it Relevant. ...
  • Practice Presenting.
May 1, 2015

What are the six key parts of making the most effective lesson plan? ›

6 components of a lesson plan
  • Objective. A lesson objective can be one of the most important components of a lesson plan. ...
  • Materials. If you prepare the materials ahead of the lesson, you may have more time to focus on teaching. ...
  • Background knowledge. ...
  • Direct instruction. ...
  • Guided teaching. ...
  • Closure and assessment.
Jun 24, 2022

What strategies do effective teachers use? ›

Effective teaching strategies include preplanning, outlining learning goals and criteria for success, and consistently providing feedback.

What are the 4 C's in lesson planning? ›

The 4Cs: Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication and Collaboration in Schools.

What are the 4 A's of a lesson plan? ›

Choose a topic that you want the children in your class to learn and apply the 4-A's of activating prior knowledge, acquiring new knowledge, applying the knowledge, and assessing the knowledge.

What 4 key components should be in a lesson plan? ›

A good daily lesson plan will include at least the following:
  • Introduction. The beginning of the lesson should engage the students' attention and focus on the topic. ...
  • Lesson development. Teachers should make students aware of the intended learning outcomes of the lesson. ...
  • Assessment activities. ...
  • Wrap up:

What are the 7 C's lesson plan? ›

The 7Cs are: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, information, and media literacy, Computing and ICT literacy, Cross-cultural understanding, and Career and learning self-reliance.

What are the 3 C's in a lesson plan? ›

Teaching the 3 Cs: Creativity, Curiosity, and Courtesy.

What are the 7 step lesson plans? ›

The Seven Step Lesson Plan
  • Objective.
  • Motivation.
  • Direct Instruction.
  • Guided Practice.
  • Independent Practice.
  • Supplementary and/or alternative instruction.
  • Assessment.

What are the 7 strategies that promote learning? ›

Here are seven strategies that have a positive impact:
  • Having compassion and empathy. ...
  • Creating a secure and dependable structure. ...
  • Ramping up the positive. ...
  • Supporting academic risk. ...
  • Teaching active listening. ...
  • Embedding strategy instruction. ...
  • Building collaborative relationships.

What are the 5 parts of lesson plan? ›

A well-planned lesson includes the lesson topic, class objectives, procedure, time management, and student practice.

What is strategic lesson planning? ›

Strategic Lesson Planning uniquely examines procedures to maximize student content retrieval. At the end of the course, participants will be able to create lesson plans that are both efficient and effective.

How does a teacher achieve an effective teaching strategy? ›

They are prepared, set clear and fair expectations, have a positive attitude, are patient with students, and assess their teaching on a regular basis. They are able to adjust their teaching strategies to fit both the students and the material, recognizing that different students learn in different ways.

What 3 effective classroom management strategies are based on? ›

The Best Classroom Management Strategies Today

The five components of effective classroom management include developing behavioral standards, establishing working relationships with students, valuing your time as a teacher, familiarizing students with teaching methods, and anticipating student behavior.

What is the 4 quadrant approach to learning? ›

The Four-Quadrant Model of Facilitated Learning (4QM) (Greber, Ziviani and Rodger, 2006a) is a framework whereby teaching-learning approaches to skill acquisition can be understood within contemporary theoretical postulates of occupational therapy, psychology and pedagogy.

What is the 7E model of lesson planning? ›

The 7E learning cycle model is a model that can guide students to actively acquire new knowledge with 7E (elicit, engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate, and extend). Teaching materials using 7E learning cycle can help students understand the problems and phenomena they encounter in the environment.

What are the 8 components of a lesson plan? ›

8 elements of lesson plans
  • Grade level and subject. One of the first sections of a lesson is the grade level and subject of the lesson you're going to teach. ...
  • Type of lesson. This is a brief section that explains the type of lesson you're going to be teaching. ...
  • Duration. ...
  • Topic. ...
  • Objective. ...
  • Materials. ...
  • Directions. ...
  • Assessment.
Mar 10, 2023

What is 3 P's lesson plan? ›

Presentation, Practice, and Production.

What are the 3 objectives in lesson plan? ›

Cognitive objectives emphasize THINKING, Affective objectives emphasize FEELING and. Psychomotor objectives emphasize ACTING.

What are the three characteristics of good lesson plan? ›

What are the Qualities of a Great Lesson Plan?
  • Clarity of Organization. ...
  • Clarity of Explanation. ...
  • Clarity of Examples and Guided Practice. ...
  • Clarity of Assessment of Student Learning. ...
  • 6 Remote Learning Strategies to Successfully Check for Your Students' Understanding.
Jan 27, 2021

What are the six 6 steps in lesson planning? ›

Listed below are 6 steps for preparing your lesson plan before your class.
  • Identify the learning objectives. ...
  • Plan the specific learning activities. ...
  • Plan to assess student understanding. ...
  • Plan to sequence the lesson in an engaging and meaningful manner. ...
  • Create a realistic timeline. ...
  • Plan for a lesson closure.

What is Herbert 5 steps lesson plan? ›

His five-stage system of lesson planning involves five discrete steps including preparation, presentation, association, generalization, and application. This is also known as Herbartian five steps, these steps are used for the students for receiving new knowledge in educational fields.

What is the six 6 effective learning strategy? ›

These six strategies for effective learning are based on evidence-based research and the science of learning. We will explore: spaced practice, retrieval practice, elaboration, concrete examples, dual coding and interleaving.

What are the five 5 strategies? ›

Each of the 5 Ps stands for a different approach to strategy:
  • Plan.
  • Ploy.
  • Pattern.
  • Position.
  • Perspective.

What are Super 6 teaching strategies? ›

The super six strategies are: predicting, making connections, monitoring, questioning, visualising and summarising. Learning these strategies will help students to become better readers and develop a stronger and deeper comprehension of a text.

What are 4 principles of strategic planning? ›

Think of the planning process as a circle that begins with planning, goes to execution, reporting of results, and then refinement of the plan and re-allocation of resources, all in a never-ending process.

What are the 3 ideas of strategic planning? ›

The development and execution of strategic planning are typically viewed as consisting of being performed in three critical steps:
  • Strategy Formulation. ...
  • Strategy Implementation. ...
  • Strategy Evaluation.
May 8, 2023

What are the 4 A's lesson plan as strategy? ›

School Lesson Plan

Choose a topic that you want the children in your class to learn and apply the 4-A's of activating prior knowledge, acquiring new knowledge, applying the knowledge, and assessing the knowledge. For example, you may want to teach a lesson on astronomy.

What are the 5 P's of classroom management? ›

Try the 5 Ps: positive, polite, prepared, productive, and prompt.

What are the 3 C's in classroom management? ›

As you consider some of your most challenging students or classes, think about your approach to classroom management through the lens of these three areas: connection, consistency, and compassion.

What are the 3 main pillars of an effective lesson plan? ›

Stiliana Milkova

A successful lesson plan addresses and integrates these three key components: Objectives for student learning. Teaching/learning activities. Strategies to check student understanding.

What are the 7 basic parts of a lesson plan? ›

The basic lesson plan outline given below contains the direct instruction element: 1) objectives, 2) standards, 3) anticipatory set, 4) teaching [input, modeling, and check for understanding], 5) guided practice, 6) closure, and 7) independent practice.

What are the 4 C's teaching strategy? ›

The 21st century learning skills are often called the 4 C's: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. These skills help students learn, and so they are vital to success in school and beyond. Critical thinking is focused, careful analysis of something to better understand it.

What are the 6 E's lesson plan? ›

The 6E instruction model, as proposed by the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA), refers to Engage, Explore, Explain, Engineer, Enrich, and Evaluate [11], and the 6 steps are shown below: (1) Engage: it enhances students' curiosity, interest, and engagement.

What is 5 es lesson plan? ›

What are the 5Es? o The 5Es represent five stages of a sequence for teaching and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend (or Elaborate), and Evaluate. personally involved in the lesson, while pre-assessing prior understanding.


1. Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning
(Jyoti Yadav)
2. Effective Lesson Planning 101
3. LSchwartz - Strategies for Effective Lesson Planning in 4 Easy Steps - Google Slides
(Lawrence Schwartz)
4. How to lesson plan effectively: tips of how to structure and plan your lessons | Teacher advice |
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5. Teaching Strategies we are Using Inside the Classroom
(Guro Ako Channel)
6. Lesson Planning: Development 101
(Teachings in Education)


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