Creating Lesson Plans

An Overview

Lesson plans are roadmaps. Their purpose is to help teachers accomplish the instructional goal(s) of a single class period. The details can run the gamut from simple to complex and can be formatted in any number of ways, but there are certain components that most lesson plans should—in some way, shape, or form—always include.

There are many ways to create lesson plans. Some instructors develop them from scratch; others borrow from a shared curriculum. Some carefully write out all the details; others use only a brief outline.

Your approach will depend on many things: how well you know the material, how long you've been teaching, the kinds of teaching you've done in the past, how adventurous, engaging, ambitious—maybe even brave—you are, the number and kind of students you expect to have in your class and, of course, departmental requirements.

This guide will help you think through some of the processes other instructors have found valuable.

Guidelines for Creating Lesson Plans