Daily Lesson Planning

Planning

There are all sorts of ways to plan a lesson. The format you choose will depend on your teaching style and philosophy. The format for daily lesson planning presented in this section is derived from the philosophy articulated in the program of studies and is only a suggestion which can be tailored to suit your individual needs.

In essence, daily lesson planning reflects teaching methodology in practice. Generally speaking, there are three main steps in the development of a daily lesson plan:

  • 1) the introduction to the lesson,
  • 2) the lesson’s activities, and
  • 3) lesson closure.

When these three steps are linked directly to the suggested teaching methodology discussed previously in this document, they take on the same roles; i.e., the introduction can either represent the preparatory phase or the reinvestment phase depending on where that particular lesson is situated within the educational project. Thus, lesson closure can either represent the reflective phase or evaluative phase of the teaching cycle, again depending on where it falls in the process. As can been seen, daily lesson planning replicates in a more detailed fashion the suggested teaching methodology.

More specifically, the introduction can play two roles in a lesson. First of all, one of the roles consists of an activity that ties the students’ background knowledge to the language experience which is to be presented later on in the lesson. The activity that is chosen is intended to motivate the students such that they will want to actively participate in the lesson. The introduction’s second role should be to tie together the previous lesson’s attainments with the objectives of the current lesson. Thus, one must keep in mind that the purpose of this step is to recycle and reinvest constantly the knowledge and skills being developed. Hence, the roles of the introduction are to initiate learning and set the tone for the remainder of the lesson.

The activities are all the mini-tasks needed to attain the objectives described in the lesson or as they pertain to the educational project. Normally, the procedure is to develop the receptive skills before developing the productive skills. In addition, it is equally important to include, as much as possible, a variety of activities from each component as well as in each language skill as a means of sustaining the students’ attention and also respecting the number of different learning styles that are present in the classroom. In this regard, the activities that are chosen must ensure the constant recycling and reinvesting of students’ knowledge and skills to appropriately develop the use of the language.

The final step in the lesson is closure. Its purpose is to tie together the elements of the lesson in a reflective manner. One can proceed in a variety of ways such as asking a question which summarizes the lesson, evaluating the lesson formally or by reflecting on the lesson’s activities using grids as a guide for this reflective process (see Evaluating Students’ Work for grid information). Another possibility is to initiate an activity which would set the stage for the next day’s lesson. Essentially, then, this step ensures that each lesson is linked to the next, while at the same time providing the teacher with an opportunity to evaluate the lessons’s level of success.

Depending on whether the ultimate planning outcome is an educational project, an integrated unit, or a “stand-alone” lesson, one must delineate the specific objectives for each lesson. For example, if one is following the process suggested in the development of an educational project, the specific objectives are already described on the major activity work sheets. However, if one decides to follow another means of lesson planning, it will be necessary to formulate the specific lesson objectives to suit this manner of planning. Therefore, the following examples illustrate two possible ways in which daily lesson plans can be developed. The first example pertains to an educational project and the second one will assist teachers who choose to use another means of planning.

The sample lesson is from the field of experience “Fashion” from sub-level Intermediate 3, illustrating the steps mentioned above. The framework for this lesson is a television talk show much like the one hosted by Oprah Winfrey. The activities described in the plan will show which components and steps are being focused upon in the lesson. The numbers used correspond to:

1) experience/communication,

2) culture,

3) language, and

4) general language education.

Teachers can find blank repromasters of these lesson plan formats in Appendix

From:

Government of the Northwest Territories (Canada).

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Planning an Integrated Unit

Planning

Integrated units, or as they are often referred to, educational projects, are recommended as a form of planning which ensures that the four language skills and the four components are integrated and balanced in terms of the program’s objectives.

The development of an educational project involves three main steps that organize the teaching/learning of a field or fields of experience in a logical and congruent fashion. Essentially, these three steps are:

Step One:

• select a field of experience or a combination of fields of experience,

• brainstorm, in a general way, the objectives to be attained, which will be derived from the program of studies, the main activities which will be carried out, and the learning resources needed in order to create the educational project;

Step Two:

• describe in a detailed way, the specific objectives and mini-tasks for each major activity,

• arrange the major activities in logical order; and

Step Three:

• plan daily lessons on the basis of the major activity sheets.

To make sure the procedure is clear, the following paragraphs will serve as a guide to the work sheets that are found in Appendix A.

To begin the process, first take the page entitled “Step One – Idea Sheet” found in Appendix A and select the field of experience or combination of fields of experience to be explored and fill in the Field(s) of Experience circle. Then begin the planning process by choosing the circle which you feel most comfortable with and brainstorm the elements needed to complete that circle. For example, if you feel more comfortable beginning with the program objectives then you start there by defining what objectives from the four components will be taught. In this circle the components are labelled in this fashion: e.c. = experience/ communication, c. = culture, l = language, and g.l.e. = general language education. Once this circle has been completed you move on to either the major activities circle which describes, in general terms, the main activities which will be carried out in the four language skills or the learning resources circle which describes the resources needed in order to be able to fulfill the needs of the educational project. Step One is completed when all four circles have been filled in. If you prefer, you may start by referring to Appendix B: Suggestions for Educational Projects to find ideas which may assist in stimulating the brainstorming process.

The second step involves taking each major activity listed on the brainstorming sheet and describing, on the page entitled “Step Two- Major Activity Sheet”, the specific objectives and mini-tasks required to complete each of the major activities. As the planning process is being carried out it is advisable to check off the language skills and components being covered by the mini-tasks as a means of ensuring a balance between the language skills and the four components. The language skills have been coded on the major activity sheet in the following manner: listening comprehension (L.C.). oral production (O.P.), reading comprehension (R.C.), and written production (W.P.). The four components have been coded in this way: experience/communication (e.c.), culture (c.), language (l.), and general language education (g.l.e.). in chronological order and numbered accordingly. Once they are in order, you can begin to develop the daily lesson plans following the suggested methodology or adopting a planning process which best suits your needs. What is most important, though, is that each lesson should include an introduction, a number of activities, including real-life tasks, and a conclusion to tie all aspects of the lesson together. This process will be explained further in the following section on daily lesson planning.

The work sheets for creating an educational project can be found in Appendix A. You may wish to reproduce all or only some of the work sheets, based on your planning needs. To recap the use of these sheets, “Step One” is for the brainstorming phase as it relates to the program’s objectives, the major activities, and the learning resources. The “Step Two” sheet is used for describing the specific objectives of the major activity and the mini-tasks to be carried out to ensure that there is a balance between the learning activities, the components, and the language skills being developed. Finally, the “Step Three” sheet is for daily lesson planning. As part of the planning process, it is important to keep in mind and decide when and how formative and summative evaluations will take place throughout the project. Evaluation activities must be planned for and should be a part of the entire planning process. (For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Evaluating Students’ Work.)

Appendix C contains examples of educational projects which will provide you with a better understanding of the development of an educational project. They will show you how to integrate the program’s objectives, the suggested teaching methodology, and available learning resources into a sequenced learning package.

From:

Government of the Northwest Territories (Canada).

Yearly planning

Planning

Yearly planning is based on the arranging of learning activities and the assessment of students’ language acquisition. Teachers will need to select a logical sequence in which to present the fields of experience, bearing in mind such factors as the students’ grade level (elementary, junior high, or senior high), the students’ proficiency level, the time allotted to the French as a second language program by the school district and the human and physical resources available.

Using the program of studies, teachers will start by selecting the fields of experience which are available to them at their language proficiency level. Then they will take into account the factors mentioned above in order to determine what kinds of educational projects or modules can be developed for the selected fields and subsequently, to order them chronologically. (See Appendix B entitled “Suggestions for Educational Projects” for some ideas.) Next, teachers will need to decide approximately how much time should be allotted to each project. It is not necessary to plan in detail all of the projects at the same time, but organizing them chronologically ensures that all of the fields of experience will be dealt with during the school year or by the end of the sub-level.

The “ Year Plans” which follow this explanation demonstrate one way of organizing the school year. This is not the only way, but it does provide an idea of how to proceed. These three year plans show how the different levels can be planned, based on the students’ cognitive level and the time allotted to the program. These yearly plans are solely for illustrative purposes and do not imply that this is the only order to follow. Rather, the teaching order for the fields of experience is up to the teacher. At each sub-level a minimum number of fields of experience is recommended for each level. Teachers need to refer to the program of studies for the required number of fields for each sub-level. In order to make a yearly plan, a blank repromaster of this year plan format appears in Appendix A.

From:

Government of the Northwest Territories (Canada).

Planning

Planning

Planning consists of the organization and coordination of the program’s objectives, the learning resources available and the time allotted in order to deliver the program of studies in a practical teaching situation. As such, there are three ways in which planning can be carried out:

Yearly planning:

Yearly planning, in keeping with the philosophy of the program, involves choosing a minimum number of fields of experience which correspond to the sub-level being taught and the order in which these fields will be presented. For example, a minimum of five fields of experience out of the seven listed for each of the sublevels at the Beginner level is recommended and if time permits and based on students’ interest and their physical and psychological development, other fields of experience may be added to suit these varied needs and interests. The ordering of the fields of experience should be done in a logical and coherent fashion and in keeping with the learning resources available and the time allotted to the program by the school board.

Planning an Integrated Unit:

Integrated unit planning consists of setting selected objectives in keeping with those outlined in the sub-levels of the program of studies, deciding the activities required to achieve these objective and determining the evaluation criteria against which the students’ progress and success in regard to the objectives will be measured. To apply the program’s philosophy in the classroom, the educational project is suggested as the most effective way of integrating the four components of the program and for developing the four language skills.

The educational project is a unit of organized learning activities of varied duration in one of the fields of experiences prescribed by the program, in which the aim is to provide opportunities for learners to fully experience the language and the culture. The educational project is very flexible in that teachers will be able to adjust their teaching strategies to the students’ cognitive, socio-affective and metacognitive levels as well as to their needs and interests.

Teachers need not develop an educational project for each field of experience. When appropriate and possible, teachers can combine or integrate two or more fields of experience. For example, at the Beginner level it is possible to combine the fields of experience “The Senses” and “The Environment” into one educational project called “Faire une présentation sur l’utilisation de nos sens pour mieux connaître notre environnement”, which would include a variety of experiential activities in a number of environments. Thus, by combining fields of experience larger or more in depth educational projects can be carried out instead of a number of smaller ones.

It is important to note that when an educational project is being planned, the program’s objectives will need be adjusted for each field of experience. In addition, the intent is not to cover all the objectives within each project. Rather, the important thing is that the students have acquired all of the objectives of the sub-level before preceding onto the next level. The amount of time allocated to the program will be a factor in both planning and determining how long it will take to cover all of the objectives successfully and to ensure that students have sufficiently acquired the skills, knowledge, and attitudes assigned to the sublevel.

Daily Lesson Planning:

In this regard, daily planning is the sequential development of the language skills (listening/reading comprehension and oral/written production), cultural and linguistic knowledge and learning strategies which will provide students with the necessary tools to engage in language experiences. In each lesson, the teacher must try to integrate activities which will treat all four components as much as possible while at the same time following the proposed teaching stages:

  • 1) the preparatory phase (introduction to the project, development of necessary knowledge, presentation of the context),
  • 2) the experience phase ( integration of communicative/experiential activities/tasks as they relate to the four language skills – listening/reading comprehension, oral/written production),
  • 3) the reflection phase (verification, feedback and formative evaluation of the language experience),
  • 4) the reinvestment phase (recycling knowledge and skills in another context or situation), and
  • 5) the evaluation phase (formal or informal feedback given to the students pertaining to their performance).
  • By following these stages, the teacher can be sure that the integration of the program’s objectives has been attained and that an appropriate teaching methodology which is conducive to experiential/communicative teaching is being carried out.

The following pages contain explanations and examples of yearly plans, educational project ideas, and daily lessons plans which are intended to be used as guides and suggestions only.