The aim of this article is to provide basic information on methods for designing a quality lesson plan. Of course, the following ‘tips’ are not the only ones to consider while designing a lesson but, I think, the points mentioned are useful as a good starting point.
1. A quality lesson plan should include information concerning the following:
a. The stage of the lesson
b. description of what the teacher does as well as how it is done
c. description of what the students do as well as how it is organized
d. the materials to be used in each stage
e. the timing of each of the suggested activities/ procedures
f. the interaction which takes place during each activity/procedure
g. the aims of the lesson, h. the language area which will be taught during the specific lesson.
2. Obviously, the first thing that you will have to consider is what you wish the learners to be taught. This should be developed based upon the syllabus offered through the school, the book or other source.
You need to keep in mind the level of the learners as well as the time available for each activity/procedure. Always allow more time for giving and checking instructions, setting up an example etc.
3. It is very important to develop clear, specific aims to be sure that your lesson plan will teach exactly what you want it to.
The aims should not be activities that will be used in the lesson plan but they should describe the learning outcome of those activities. For example:
1. To present, practice and produce the Simple present tense for everyday routines in the affirmative and the interrogative form excluding the third person ‘s’ case.
2. To develop reading skills: reading for gist, reading for locating specific information
3. To produce an informal letter to a friend
4. To revise conditionals with ‘unless’
5. To present and practice words related with crime and punishment
Use the following guide questions to help you specify your plan aims:
Are the aims clear and specific?
Are the aims appropriate and achievable for my learners?
Have I distinguished main aims and secondary aims?
Can the aims be achieved within the time available?
Have I included examples of the linguistic items to taught?
Make sure that the aim/s set are measurable and by evaluating the outcome it would be easy to tell whether the aim/s were met or not.
Of course, more than one aims may be set for each lesson but, on the other hand, do not be over ambitious. Some of your aims may be of ‘primary’ importance and some of ‘secondary’ importance.
4. By definition a lesson plan is a ‘working document’ which means that if someone else had to teach the specific lesson using the specific lesson plan, this would be easy to follow and that it would include all the necessary information needed - for example, the materials to be used during the lesson. By ‘materials’ I refer to books, extra handouts, a video clip, a set of pictures etc.