Monday, January 12, 2009
Making Lesson Plans
A lesson plan is just a written plan a teacher makes for a specific lesson. Lesson plans have a fairly standard format so that teachers can exchange lessons and so that others can see where the lesson should fit within the curriculum. The labels below will help you get started: specific schools may have slightly different labels, though.
Grade Level. When you design a lesson plan, it's important to think about the age of the students, what they're capable of doing, and what will interest them.
Duration. A lesson plan should give some indication of how long the lesson will take.
Topic/Title. The topic or title summarizes the activity or what you want to teach. You should plan the topic carefully by considering the place of the lesson in the curriculum. Examples of titles might be, "A Nature Walk" or "Making Animal Puppets."
Objectives. Objectives are specific outcomes you expect to see students develop. One objective might be for students to be able to demonstrate how to express 'my' and 'your' with body parts in the target language. You can have more than one objective in a lesson plan, but they should be measurable in some way.
Materials/Equipment. Be sure to indicate if the lesson requires any special materials (such as paper or a wall chart) or equipment (a DVD player).
Procedure/Activity. Describe the actual steps to be taken and give some idea of what the teacher should say. For example, "A. The teacher will pass an animal bingo sheet out to each student and explain how to play using the target language."
Practice/Homework. When we teach endangered languages, it seems the lessons are squeezed into just one or two lessons per week. Students can't remember what they're taught unless they have some form of homework. Homework also allows the family to learn what the child is learning.
Assessment. Assessment allows you and others to measure the degree to which students have met the objectives. Assessment might consist of grading the homework, giving a test, keeping track of responses to questions in class, or judging how well the student performs in a trivia contest or skit.
Developing lesson plans can seem quite foreign and untraditional, but many teachers and principals expect teachers to have them. Having a good set of lesson plans is often required before permission is given to teach minority languages in schools. Once you get the hang of it, though, you might enjoy being able to trade activities with other teachers or to search on the internet for "Spanish lesson plans." I did that and was happy to find this site!