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How to Understand Lesson Planning and Nail It

How to Understand Lesson Planning and Nail It | ITTT | TEFL Blog

A lesson plan is a working document that serves as a reference point for teaching. A lesson plan is also a record; it can be referred to in any future lesson by the teacher. It also serves as a guide for a teacher who is covering an absent teacher. It helps the teacher to know how to carry out the lesson. This means that a lesson plan has to be simple and clear for another teacher to understand.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Esther O. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

A lesson plan consists of the date and time of the lesson.

It is important to know the number of learners you will be teaching. It helps in planning how to pair or group learners in an activity. The planning for a large class will differ from the planning of a small class or even a one on one individual. The name of the teacher and the level of learners should be put into a lesson plan.

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A lesson plan has a learner objective as well as a teacher objective.

A learner's objective focuses on what the teacher wants the learners to be able to achieve at the end of a lesson. For example, if you have a topic as nouns, the learner's objective could be to be able to identify nouns in sentences. A teacher's objective focuses on what the teacher wants to achieve as a teacher at the end of the lesson. It could be as simple as being able to reduce teacher talk time or being able to use the whiteboard appropriately.

There is a section also for possible problems that can come up for the learners and there is another section for the teacher also. This is where the teacher needs to think of the challenges he or she feels the learners might encounter in the process of learning. Still using nouns as an example, some problems could be spellings of nouns and pronunciation of nouns. The teacher also needs to think of solutions to these problems. Just as learners could have challenges, the teacher could also encounter challenges. Some challenges teachers could encounter while teaching learners could be organizing a large class or getting the learners to involve in an activity. The teacher needs to come up with solutions also to these problems.

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A lesson plan shows the procedure of the lesson.

The teacher can decide to use the Engage Practice method or Engage Study Activate method. The lesson plan shows a breakdown of how the lesson will go in stages. It has to be clear for whoever looks at it to understand. It could take this form below. The learner's objective could be to be able to use vocabulary relating to the hospital effectively for an elementary level. The teacher always starts with an engaging phase to get the learners talking.


Ask learners if they have ever been to the hospital. Ask them why they went to the hospital. You can ask them to talk about the things they saw at the hospital.


The teacher writes on the board some of the words the learners have listed as things they have seen at the hospital. The teacher explains new words on hospital vocabulary to the learners. The study stage is the stage of drilling; pronunciation is important when teaching a new language. The worksheet is an effective way of getting things done in the study stage but it has to be explained clearly to the learners. Before the learners begin any work in the study stage, the teacher must demonstrate the instruction by doing some examples.

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At this stage, the teacher could ask the learners to do a role play in groups or pairs of a patient/doctor conversation using some of the words that have been taught in class.

A lesson plan should also have a duration. The teacher needs to plan how many minutes will be spent on the engage stage, study stage, and activation stage. A good teacher maximizes time.

It is important to note that a lesson plan is like a guide. A teacher doesn't need to follow it rigidly. It has to be flexible to the needs that arise in the classroom.

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