4 Chapter Four: Instruction and Activities
All learning materials being used in a lesson must be clearly identified. This includes the URLs of any online resources. It is vital that each of these lesson materials and resources align with the lesson’s objective.
Include a list of all the learning materials needed for the lesson, including any instructional resources and technologies. Be descriptive enough that a substitute teacher could easily pick up the plan and teach the lesson.
GSC’s Aligned Lesson Plan Rubric Criteria
Lesson introductions clearly state the purpose of the lesson and describe the objective of the lesson in language students can understand. Students should be able to describe what they will know and be able to do by the end of the lesson. This purpose and/or objective is often written in student-friendly language for students to reference throughout the lesson.
The lesson introduction is also a chance to ‘hook’ students by appealing to their interests and sparking their prior knowledge in an engaging way. This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for the lesson topic with students.
When planning an effective introduction, be sure to:
- Determine your ‘hook’ by selecting an activity that will capture your students’ attention and spark their interest in the lesson topic.
- State AND post the lesson objective for learners.
- Consider posting and sharing a lesson agenda which might be used to inform students of the lesson activities.
The introduction of your lesson should take approximately 10% of the time allotted for your lesson.
The body of the lesson often includes the teaching or exploration of content. It is vital that educators know their learners well so that they may determine the best strategies for helping students navigate the lesson content.
If the body of a lesson includes teacher delivered, direct instruction, ensure that all explanations are clear and accurate. Consider modeling and providing examples for students to follow. If student learning can be amplified through the embedding of technology, by all means do so.
The body of a lesson provides an excellent opportunity for students to actively engage in learning activities and build understanding of the lesson objective, with the teacher serving as a facilitator. Plan to implement, facilitate and foster interaction among students as appropriate and refer to Bloom’s Taxonomy to select strategies that increase intellectual engagement.
Differentiation, ‘a teacher’s reacting responsively to a learner’s needs’ (Tomlinson and Demirsky Allen), , should be used in planning lesson activities. Differentiated structures to include in the body of your lesson might be:
- flexible groups
- cooperative learning
- tiered instruction
The body of your lesson should take approximately 60% of the time allotted for your lesson.
Citation: “Leadership for Differentiating Schools and Classrooms,” Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Demirsky Allen, 2000
In the body of your lesson you must describe the modeling, guided practice, questioning, independent practice, scaffolding, and/or differentiated insrutction planned to occur within the lesson. Students’ higher order thinking and depth of knowledge should be considered.
Include detailed descriptions of lesson activities, describing how you intend to carry out each learning activity. For instance, rather than noting: “We will discuss fact & opinion”, describe how you plan to facilitate the discussion. For example: “Students will engage in a think/pair/share about facts and opinions then each pair will share their thoughts with the group”. Rather than noting “I will ask students questions about the story”, actually list the higher order questions you plan to ask your students to respond to, and describe how you will solicit their responses. Lesson activities must be directly aligned to the lesson objective and must build progressively upon one another in an effort to move students towards mastery.
The body of the lesson does not need to be scripted, but must be detailed enough that another teacher could deliver the lesson as planned.
The closing of a lesson should restate the lesson objective and offer opportunity for students to reflect on their own learning/progress toward meeting the objective. During this time students might be invited to share responses to higher-order thinking questions and to explain their thinking. This should provide an opportunity for students to have misunderstandings clarified and to have questions addressed. Students can confirm/contradict predictions and discuss reasons for outcomes.
It is important that lesson conclusions are utilized for the collection of formative assessment data so that individual students’ mastery of the lesson objective can be determined. This post lesson, formative assessment must directly align with both the pre-assessment given before the lesson was planned and the lesson objective.
The closing of your lesson should take approximately 30% of the time allotted for your lesson.