7 Components of an Effective Classroom Lesson Plan

Updated on July 22, 2018
gerimcclym profile image

Geri McClymont is passionate about education. She holds an MEd and has taught ESL, Spanish, and special education students grades K-12.

Learning is our ultimate goal as we deliver lessons to our students.
Learning is our ultimate goal as we deliver lessons to our students. | Source

Whether you teach several subjects or teach in a specific content area, lesson plans matter. The quality of your lesson plans will in great part determine how efficiently class time is used and how much content your students learn each period.

Lesson plans don’t have to be lengthy. The main thing is to make sure they contain the main elements of the lesson. They’re meant to guide your instruction so you can maximize classroom time.

Student supplies needed for a lesson.
Student supplies needed for a lesson. | Source

What Are the Components of an Effective Lesson Plan?

1. Materials

2. Clear objective

3. Set the stage

4. Direct instruction

5. Guided practice

6. Closure

7. Demonstration of learning (quick assessment)

1. Materials

What will you need to teach this lesson? This includes student supplies as well as your own. Don’t forget about technology such as your doc cam and laptop.

Make sure you have everything you’ll need so you’re ready to roll when your students arrive.

You don’t want to be scrambling around in the middle of a lesson trying to locate the protractors which you thought were in that bottom cabinet, only to realize at the last minute that they’re not there.

Having your resources lined up ahead of time saves valuable class time and gives you great peace of mind. When your materials are in place, you can devote all of your energy to teaching the lesson.

Your materials list may look something like this:

Materials

  • lined paper
  • pencils
  • rulers
  • Kagan chips
  • doc cam
  • laptop

Your objective should be the ongoing focus of your lesson.
Your objective should be the ongoing focus of your lesson. | Source

2. Clear Objective

What exactly do you want your students to be able to do by the end of the lesson? This should be clearly communicated to your students orally at the very beginning of the lesson.

Some teachers write their lesson objective on the board as a frame of reference for both students and themselves.

Communicating the learning objective to your students both verbally and in writing makes it easier to stay on target throughout the lesson. The objective should be the ongoing focus of your lesson!

Your objective should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Sample SMART Objectives

English
Math
Social Studies
By the end of the lesson, students will correctly underline and label the subject and predicate of sentences 8/10 times.
By the end of the lesson, students will glue fractions in their appropriate corresponding place on a number line 7/8 times.
By the end of the lesson, students will write six effects of the American Civil War with 80% accuracy.
Set the stage by activating prior knowledge and getting your students excited about what you're going to teach them.
Set the stage by activating prior knowledge and getting your students excited about what you're going to teach them. | Source

3. Set the Stage

This is where you can really “sell” your lesson by getting your students excited about what you’re going to teach them!

Tap into students’ prior knowledge to prepare them for new content you’re about to introduce.

For example, if you’re about to present a lesson on using metaphors and similes in writing, start out by discussing what makes a story engrossing to a reader.

Involve your students in the discussion by asking them to share out their thoughts based on gripping stories they’ve read.

Some responses you may get are: “interesting characters," “interesting plot," “suspense," “ability to relate to the characters or plot.”

This discussion will lead right into your lesson of using metaphors and similes as additional ways to make a story captivating to readers!

A professor providing direct instruction to his students.
A professor providing direct instruction to his students. | Source

4. Direct Instruction

This is the “meat” of your lesson plan. It’s where you present the new concept which is included in the lesson objective.

Speak clearly and concisely. Less is more as long as you stay on topic.

Model, Model, Model.

Use the board or doc cam as you model what you’re teaching. If it involves a process, show the process. Speak aloud as you model through the entire process, explaining each step as you go along.

Involve students.

After modeling a few examples on your own, involve your students in a few additional examples using the board or doc cam. They will gain confidence as they go through the process with you!

A teacher assisting students in the classroom.
A teacher assisting students in the classroom. | Source

5. Guided Practice

After you’ve presented the new concept, modeled examples, and involved your class in a few additional ones, your students are ready for guided practice.

This is where they get to apply the new concept independently and/or in cooperative activities.

Circulate the room to check for understanding as students work. Pause to clarify as needed.

If you notice an area where many students are confused or struggling, stop and address this particular point with the entire class.

If necessary, go back and model a few additional examples, followed by additional guided practice. You want to make sure your students are applying the concept correctly rather than practicing mistakes.

A brief review at the end of a lesson provides closure.
A brief review at the end of a lesson provides closure. | Source

6. Closure

This is where you “wrap it up.” It’s a quick synopsis of the lesson.

You may want to ask students to pair share or to share out something they learned that period, or to provide an example of the concept taught. Keep it short and sweet.

Example: “Today we learned about metaphors and similes. Tell your partner one example of a simile and one example of a metaphor.”

A student completing a task independently.
A student completing a task independently. | Source

7. Demonstration of Learning (Quick Assessment)

This is how you as a teacher evaluate whether or not your students met your lesson objective.

The D.O.L. should always be completed independently. It should take most students no longer than five minutes to complete, and can be a simple written activity such as a quiz (many teachers call these “exit tickets”).

Make sure the D.O.L. accurately reflects the learning objective and allows your students to apply what they learned during the lesson.

The purpose of the D.O.L. is to provide you with valuable feedback which should drive your instruction.

Student performance on the D.O.L. tells you if you need to go back and reteach the same lesson the following day, or if your students are ready to move on to the next lesson.

Students enjoying themselves in class.
Students enjoying themselves in class. | Source

Lesson Plans provide you and your students with a clear sense of direction in the classroom. Remember that they don’t have to be extensive, drawn out plans. They are meant to guide and assist you in maximizing classroom time.

Don’t forget to use humor as you teach. A sense of humor goes a long way in keeping students engaged in the classroom!

What Makes a Teacher Great?

© 2016 Geri McClymont

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    • profile image

      digale 

      2 months ago

      it's very helpful.

    • profile image

      farhan ali 

      2 months ago

      Exactly what i was looking for, Thanks a lot for making it clear and precise . Greetings from Pakistan

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      4 months ago

      I am glad to know this was helpful to you, Fana. Best to you.

    • profile image

      Fana 

      4 months ago

      this very much helpful

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      5 months ago

      Glad to hear that, Aiman. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Aiman 

      5 months ago

      Helpful to me

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      7 months ago

      That is encouraging, Sandy. Thanks for commenting.

    • profile image

      SandyHutchinson 

      7 months ago

      Great to hear that I am doing what other great teachers do.

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      7 months ago

      T. Ballakai,

      Glad to hear the article was useful to you. Best to you.

    • gerimcclym profile imageAUTHOR

      Geri McClymont 

      7 months ago

      Melania,

      I'm glad the article was helpful to you. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      T. Ballakai B. Kiatamba 

      7 months ago

      Very helpful to me; thanks a million.

    • profile image

      Melania 

      8 months ago

      This info has been helpful

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