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:
3) language, and
4) general language education.
Teachers can find blank repromasters of these lesson plan formats in Appendix