Lesson Plans: Using Procedures

Learn the different parts of a lesson plan's procedures and how you can increase your students' understanding of your lesson.
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Updated on: January 25, 2007
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Development of the Lesson

This is the heart of any lesson—that portion where you teach and where students learn. This is where students obtain valuable information, manipulate data, and engage in active discovery through total involvement. Include some of the following elements in this stage:

It's Elementary

Consider both short-term as well as long-term projects in which students can participate according to their interest and ability levels. You might want to include a variety of activities within a lesson as well as some activities that can extend over longer periods of time.

  • Lesson methodologies. Not only is it important to give some thought as to what you're going to teach, it is equally significant that you consider the methods of presentation as well. I'm sure you've been in a class where the only method of instruction was dry, stale lectures. You undoubtedly found the class boring and wearying. The same fate awaits your students if you provide them with an overabundance of one type of teaching methodology to the exclusion of others. (These are addressed in Lesson Methodologies)

  • Problem-solving. As I discuss in another article, problem-solving is an inherent part of any lesson. Providing students with the opportunities to solve their own problems in their own way is a valuable motivational technique.

  • Creative thinking. Learning is much more than the memorization of facts. Any lesson must allow students opportunities to manipulate data in new and unusual ways.

  • Hands-on activities. It's critical that students have sufficient opportunities to create products based on what they learn. These might include but are not limited to posters, dioramas, charts, graphs, mobiles, notebooks, portfolios, and models.

  • Student engagement. Successful lessons include several ways in which students can practice the desired behavior(s). Here are just a few suggestions:

    • Students critique the directions or set up for a presentation or demonstration.

    • Students verbalize the steps they're taking during the completion of an activity.

    • Students manipulate objects or devices and verbalize their feelings about their actions.

    • Students work in small groups to share information learned and how it relates to prior knowledge.

    • Students graph or illustrate significant points on the chalkboard for class critique.

Closure

Effective public speakers always follow three essential rules of a good presentation:

  1. Tell the audience what you're going to tell them.

  2. Tell them.

  3. Tell them what you've told them.

Those same rules are important in the well-designed lesson, too. It's essential that you incorporate some sort of closure into the lesson. This might mean a few minutes at the end of the lesson during which you or your students summarize some of the significant points, an activity in which students share perceptions with each other, or a time during which students recall their positive or negative perceptions of a lesson.

Here are some closure suggestions:

Expert Opinion

Whenever possible, use a cliffhanger at the end of a lesson. This can be an unanswered question you write on the board, an unfinished project, or an enticing bit of information (“Tomorrow I'll bring in a creature with eight eyes. You won't want to miss it!”)

  • Teacher summary. Be sure to summarize the important points or critical elements of a lesson for students. Discuss what you taught and what they learned. This might be the most valuable 3 to 5 minutes of any lesson.

  • Student summary. Provide opportunities for students to summarize a lesson as well. Inviting them to put a lesson into their own words can be helpful to you in determining how well they learned the material.

  • Lesson product. Invite students to incorporate the major elements of a lesson into a final product. As described earlier, this product may take the form of a poster, brochure, model, or portfolio.

Self-Evaluation

As you write lessons, include a brief section at the end that allows you to self-evaluate. This will be important when and if you decide to teach the lesson again. It will also provide you with some important insights relative to your perceived level of success.

You might consider some of these self-evaluative questions:

  • “How was my pacing?”

  • “Did students understand the content?”

  • “Did students understand the important concepts?”

  • “Did I use my time appropriately?”

  • “What changes should I make the next time I teach this lesson?”

  • “Were students engaged and involved?”

  • “What new activities or procedures could I include?”

  • “Did I present the lesson well?”

Excerpted from

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher
Anthony D. Fredericks, Ed.D.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Success as a Teacher © 2005 by Anthony D. Fredericks. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.