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Identifying the different components of a lesson plan 2

Identifying the different components of a lesson plan

What is a lesson plan?

As we know, a lesson plan is a set of notes which we use to think and decide what we are going to teach to our students and how we plan to teach it. It acts as a guide for us during and after the lesson. It is possible to identify the most important components of a lesson plan. This can be done by thinking carefully about what we need to make our students do and how we need them to do it.
The main parts of a lesson plan are to there to show us the purpose of the lesson (the aims) and what the teacher and students will be doing during the lesson as well as how they will do it (the procedures). Other parts of the lesson are there to aid us to think about issues that would arise during the lesson. They also remind us what things we need to keep in mind about the students. Therefore, a lesson plan is very much like a road map or a series of road signs. This means it is something that shows us where we are going to and how we are going to get where we are going. Sometimes however, we may end up finding that while taking the journey, we have to change the route and take a different one. 

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How does a lesson plan help a teacher?

Before the lesson
Writing down the aims and procedures for each stage of the lesson helps us to make sure that we have planned the best possible sequence to enable us to achieve those aims.

During the lesson
The plan can also help the teacher to check timing – the amount of time we plan for each stage – and to check that the lesson is following the sequence we decided on.

After the lesson
We can keep the plan as a record of what happened, making any changes necessary to show how the lesson was different from the plan. We can then use the plan and notes to help plan the next lesson. (At this stage, the plan may be more like a photograph, a story or a summary, giving us a record of the lesson).

Components of a lesson plan

The following headings are usually found in a lesson plan.

Level and number of learners
Who are we planning the lesson for — Elementary, Intermediate or Advanced learners? For how many learners?

Time table fit
How the lesson is connected to the last lesson and/or the next one.

Main aim
The most
crucial thing that we want to accomplish in a lesson or a series of lessons

Subsidiary aims
Other things we want the learners to be able to do during the lesson because they lead to the main aim.

Personal aims
Aspects of our own teaching we want to develop or improve. 

What we think learners already know or can already do related to the aims.

Anticipated language problems
Things that learners may find difficult.

Possible solutions
Action we will take to deal with the anticipated problems.

Teaching aids
Useful reminders of things to take to the lesson.

Tasks and activities for each stage.

Length of time needed for each stage.

Interaction patterns
Ways in which learners work at different stages, i.e. individually, in pairs, in groups, as a whole class.

Exercises students need to complete outside the class.

Generally, expecting possible problems and solutions is a good idea. However, in a revision lesson, all these headings may not be needed. Sometimes, the teacher may not have personal aims for each and every lesson and may not always give homework to the students.

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Things to consider when planning and executing your lesson plan

Focus on achieving the lesson aims
When making a lesson plan, it is important for us to ask of ourselves how the procedures that we have planned will help us to achieve our aims. Also we must make sure that there are connections between the dissimilar stages which are strong.

Add variety
This means how different types of activities can be used as well as language skills and interaction patterns. Students of any age need dissimilar activities in a lesson. However, more than the older students, it is specially necessary for the younger ones.

Executing the lesson plan

While the lesson is going on, the teachers should teach the students and not the lesson plan. The teacher needs to be ready to be flexible and make alterations in the plan during teaching if necessary. If the plan is a clear one, the teacher will be more aware of what he/she is altering in the plan and why he/she is altering it. The teacher can also add some dissimilar possibilities in the lesson plan. For example, he/she can add an extra activity if the students are faster than expected and take lesson time to finish a task. This can be useful if the teacher is unsure of how well certain parts of the plan work out.

A Practice Task

Match each lesson stage given below (1-7) with the subsidiary aims listed (A – H). There is an extra one which you do not need to use.

Lesson Stages
1. Go back to the last lesson you did and check the vocabulary.
2. Introduce the topic to the students and draw forth new words and phrases.
3. Students put mixed up paragraphs of the text in the correct order.
4. Students match the most probable meanings to the words in the text.
5. Students are given true/false questions to answer.
6. Students are given examples of reported speech to underline.
7. Students exchange and give feedback on certain texts.

Subsidiary Aims
A. Focus on form
B. Contextualising and pre-teaching vocabulary
C. Extracting meaning from the context
D. Check comprehension which is well-detailed.
E. Go back and revise language which has been learnt
F. Check the awareness of the student of text organisation (pronouns, linking, etc…)
G. Correction of peers
H. Carefully controlled practice of the structure of the target

Reflection on teachers' comments

Here are some comments from teachers. Which of these comments would you agree with? State your reasons for doing so.


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