Tell Them What the Objectives Are

So, first you need the learning objectives and then plan of action. This all rather theoretical, though (but very necessary). The burning question for the new teacher is, how do I make a plan that will get me through the period? To this end at least, every good lesson plan requires three elements:

1. A concise statement to the students about what you hope for them to learn and what they will be doing to that end.

2. Variety.

3. A time buffer.


No matter how ingenious your activity is, your students will think it was pointless unless it was very clear from the beginning what they were supposed to get out of it. This is your description of your learning objectives. It needn’t be a recitation of those objectives, but some statement of what you’ll be doing is appropriate.

1. “Today we’ll be taking about the events that led to our involvement in Vietnam. When we’re done I would like you to know the names of the people we’ll be discussing as well as the part they played.”

2. “You are about to do a lab on heat transfer. When you are done you should be able to name and define each of the three types as well as to give examples.”


Notice that there is no explicit statement of how they will be tested. That’s okay since, as we shall see later when we discuss testing, it is often prudent to be vague about your testing format. Nevertheless, the above introductions do at least imply that their learning will be evaluated eventually.

Go to Variety and Timing

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