Why do we plan lessons?
• It helps the teacher be more confident
• It provides a useful guide for smooth and
• It helps the teacher prepare for the lesson
• It helps to provide useful reference for future
• It helps the teacher be more organised.
• It helps the teacher think of ALL the students in
the class, not just the strong, the weak or the
• It helps the teacher recognize what his or her
objectives for the lesson are.
• It helps the teacher to know whether he or she
has achieved those objectives
• It allows the teacher judge his or her own
• It is proof that the teacher has put time and
energy into giving a good lesson
• It gives the teacher a sense of direction in the
• It helps the teacher to see which parts of the
lesson went well, and which did not.
• It is sometimes a requirement given to us by our
What goes into a lesson plan?
• Before you start it’s important to know what the
pupils have achieved so far. Don’t focus on what you
did in class, but what the pupils can do. One
lesson isn’t always enough.
• Be aware of how many pupils will be in your class.
• Define a clear objective to the lesson (e.g. After the
lesson the pupils will be able to describe their
• Don’t forget the “Teacher’s Book!” The Primary
Colours Teachers Book is full of helpful information
to make planning lessons easier.
• Don’t just follow the book. Feel free to bring
extra activities into class if you think they can
help your students.
• Organise the activities in a way that makes sense
to you AND to your students.
• It’s always a good idea to start the lesson with a
fun activity. E.g. using a song you learned last
lesson; Simon Says; a small acting activity.
• When planning your lesson it is more important
to focus on the “Rationale” of the activity (the
reason you are doing the activity) than the
• Give each activity a time limit. This doesn’t have
to be TOO strict (if you feel the children need
more time, give it to them), but this helps you
organise your ideas and expect what you will and
will not have time to do in your lesson.
• Write notes for yourself. This helps you
remember things that are sometimes easy to
forget, and stops you from experiencing those
“Oh damn! I forgot to do this/give this etc.”
moments in class.
• Examining the rationale of activities is the most
important aspect of lesson planning. WHY we do
activities is more important than choosing the activities.
• The rationale section of the lesson plan helps us to
understand HOW the activities help the students learn.
This helps us to understand the importance of the
activities and allocate appropriate time. E.g. an activity
that teaches two new words of vocabulary through
reading is much less important than the activity that
uses these words, and words from a previous lesson, in
conversation. So the conversation activity should have
more time set aside for it.
• If we don’t understand why the children are doing
an activity, how can the children understand? Many
children like to ask why they have to do
something, it’s much more effective to tell them than
to say, “Because I am the teacher and I told you to
• Having a rationale section in our lesson plan also
helps us explain to colleagues, administrators and
parents why we chose to conduct our lesson in a
specific way. This helps us to explain the logic
behind our decisions, as well as to see the logic for
“Do I have to make a detailed plan for
• In a perfect world teachers do not need to sleep or eat.
We do NOT live in a perfect world.
• We cannot be expected to create a detailed lesson plan
for every single class we teach, as some of us have
more than 20 classes a week.
• Detailed lesson plans are valuable tools when starting
a new class; deciding to change the direction of a class;
when trying to make your teaching more efficient;
when examining your own skills; and when ending a
• It IS recommended, however, that new teachers
plan all of their lessons. With time it becomes
easier to see the rationale of activities and
organise them quickly, but this takes PRACTICE.
• If you don’t have time to create a detailed plan
for EVERY lesson, then prioritize. Spend more
time planning for the classes where you feel less
confident or less comfortable.
• Even teachers with over twenty years of
experience find it helpful to plan lessons. Doing
this every so often helps you to keep your own
teaching standards high.
“I’m paid to teach in class, I’m not
paid to plan lessons at home!”
• Teaching DOES require you to work on your own
time, outside of office hours. This is the nature of our
work. Every teacher in the world has to do work
outside of classroom hours.
• With some practice, you can learn to manage your
time in a way so that you can be successful in both
your professional and your personal life.
• If you do not spend ANY time planning your
lessons, then it is your students who suffer, not you.
Be proud of your work!
• If you have a lesson plan that you think is really
good, that you’ve used in class and that was very
effective, be proud!
• Share your ideas with your colleagues. As teachers it is
very easy for us to feel “alone” in our careers, but that
simply isn’t true! You and your colleagues should help
• Give advice to your colleagues, and ACCEPT ADVICE
Thank you for your time