We at HireXl after long observation have felt the importance of lesson plan at every stage of teaching. A teacher entering a class without a lesson plan is possibly the most dangerous thing. Students can sense when you aren’t sure what you’re doing and will immediately adjust their attitudes to take advantage of that. That is why it’s extremely important to write a lesson plan. A lesson plan is basically a detailed outline of what you want to teach, what you want your students to learn, and how you will help facilitate learning.
This article details several important components of a lesson plan, with explanations geared toward writing plans for middle school classrooms.
Components of a Lesson Plan
To write a good lesson plan, there are several important components you should always include. These components may change depending on the requirements of your principal or district, but if you are just starting out writing plans, always include these.
- Subject area
- Standards aligned
- Instructional Objective
By including all of these elements in a lesson plan, you are preparing yourself as much as possible for any curve balls students might throw your way.
Subject Area and Standards
The first two pieces of information you should always include in your middle school lesson plan are the subject area and standards. Subject area should be pretty straightforward. This is simply the subject you are teaching in the lesson, such as math, reading, science, or social studies. As a middle school teacher, your subject area might be narrow because you might be teaching only one subject to various classes of students.
In addition to the subject area, you should also include which standards your lesson is aligned with. In modern education, it is crucial that you align all of your lessons with your school or locations standards. Aligning your lessons with standards helps ensure that you are teaching the skills and information prescribed by curriculum you follow.
The next part of your lesson plan should be your instructional objective. It is important to include this piece of information so that you have a clear goal in mind when teaching. For middle school students, this objective can be slightly more complicated than if you were writing a lesson for younger students. This objective is usually written to specify what the students will learn, how they will demonstrate understanding of the objective, and how you will facilitate learning.
An example of an instructional objective for middle school students might look like the following:
- Students will learn about persuasive writing and speaking by listening to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and will demonstrate understanding by writing a persuasive essay with guidance from the teacher on their topic of choice.
In this example, the instructional objective includes how students will learn (by listening to the speech), how they will demonstrate understanding (by writing their own essay), and how you will facilitate learning (by offering guidance while the students are writing).
After you have written your instructional objective, the next step is to write out your procedure. This section should detail the steps you are going to take when teaching. You should include as much detail as possible when writing out your procedure, building in moments where you can adjust instruction if you find your students are struggling with the material.
Be meticulous when writing your procedure, but also be prepared to be flexible and deviate from the plan when it comes time to teach the lesson. Though it may seem contradictory, being extra careful when planning allows you to change direction when teaching if you find it necessary.
Assessment is arguably the most important aspect of a lesson plan. In this section, you should indicate how you are going to determine whether students mastered the instructional objective you set out to teach. Teachers need to be accountable for their students’ learning, and assessment data helps you show that students are progressing and learning as needed.
For a middle school lesson plan, you can use a wide variety of creative assessment tools. These can include the old standbys, such as tests or quizzes, but can also be projects, presentations, or other forms of student-created work. The assessment tool you use should always be appropriate for the material/instructional objective of your lesson. Therefore, for the example above, the persuasive essay your students will write is an appropriate assessment of the objective to learn about persuasive writing.
Writing a lesson plan for a middle school classroom is a key step in your teaching process. By including the five components outlined–subject area, standards, instructional objective, procedure, and assessment–you can be sure that you are ready for any hurdles you might face in the classroom. A well-planned lesson will have much better results than if you walked into the classroom and tried to teach by the seat of your pants.
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