The following are some statements about lesson planning I believe I have heard, read, thought and imagined in the past few years. I felt spending some time thinking about the statements might be interesting or useful so here I am typing them up. I also thought the list could be a nice start or part of a workshop related to lesson planning. If you’d like to read about my experiences and thoughts related to lesson planning from 2000-2010 you can find them here.
I wonder if there are statements you strongly agree with or strongly disagree with or those you think are slightly BS, totally BS or totally legit. Any other additions to the list are welcome as well.
- I am too busy to plan regular lessons.
- There is no need to plan for most classes.
- There is no sense planning lessons if we are not paid extra to do so.
- The best lessons are those that are unplanned.
- Since we are just “covering” grammar points there’s no need for lesson plans.
- A lesson plan is essential for every class.
- You can’t have a lesson plan if you don’t have target language.
- We need to use the proper format when lesson planning.
- The key to a successful lesson plan is following the correct frameworks appropriately.
- Lesson plans are primarily for the teacher.
- Lesson plans without objectives are useless.
- Lesson plans need to have SMART objectives.
- We need to use the right verbs when writing objectives so that we know what students will learn.
- Lesson plans can be written in any format, including the back of a napkin.
- We need to write out everything the teacher will say in class.
- We need to write out everything the teacher will do in class.
- We need to write out everything the students will do in class.
- We need to write out everything the students will say in class. (Even if it takes 30 pages).
- They key to lesson planning is finding the right Youtube video to start the lesson.
- The best starting point to lesson planning is choosing fun activities.
- The hardest part to planning lessons is choosing objectives.
- The hardest part to planning lessons is choosing appropriate activities for lessons.
- Even if we don’t plan for regular lessons we need to be sure to do so for open classes.
- Lesson plans for open classes need to show new activities.
- Lesson plans for open classes need to be fancy and flashy.
- Lesson plans need to include some use of the latest technology.
- Lesson plans (especially for open classes) need to include eye catching materials.
- There is a strong correlation between lesson planning skills and teaching skills.
- There is no correlation between lesson planning skills and teaching skills.
open class = sort of a like an observed demo class. Probably with real students and probably already practiced a bit. It depends on the situation but the purpose might be for the teacher to get feedback on his/her lesson but it also might be for the teacher to introduce ideas/techniques/methods/memes/activities to those in attendance.
regular class = A normal class on a wet Tuesday in May.
(Or actually any day of the week with any weather. Just a normal class without observers)
cover = one of my least favorite words related to teaching. I don’t really know what it means but I do know that it doesn’t tell me much about what the students are doing or learning.
Updates and additions:
Jonathan Sayers (@jo_sayers) over at ELT+Technology decided to follow a suggestion in the comments to put the list on Survey Monkey. And, here is the collection on a Likert scale. Check it out.
Some links were mentioned in the comments:
(From Rachael Roberts)
and some links came to mind after I posted this:
6 iTDi posts on lesson planning: