Streamline lesson planning with an editable Elementary Lesson Plan template. This simple, yet effective template will guide you through the four key elements of an effective lesson.
These four key elements should always be present in an effective elementary lesson plan. We believe the quality of any lesson plan truly matters as it directly affects the teacher’s efficiency in delivering the content. It also affects how deeply the students will learn the content. Teachers can greatly improve their lesson planning skills by targeting these four key elements.
First, it is important to ask- What is the goal of this specific lesson? Consider what students will know and be able to do by the end of the lesson. When planning a lesson, write down the goal as the lesson objective or learning target in student-friendly terminology. Then be sure to share the objective or target with students at the beginning of the lesson and refer back to it throughout the lesson.
How will you set the stage for the learning that will occur? The anticipatory set, sometimes referred to as the lesson hook, is a short activity aligned with the lesson objective that captures students’ interest or primes their brains to recall prior knowledge related to the lesson.
How will you provide appropriately scaffolded instruction that guides students toward independence and mastery of the skill or content? One easy way we like to encompass this gradual release is through the “I Do, We Do, You Do” model.
I Do- ‘Direct Instruction’
In this portion of the lesson, the teacher models and provides direct instruction for the students. The teacher explicitly explains what students need to know, showing them exactly how to do whatever is required to successfully obtain the objective or learning target.
We Do- ‘Scaffolded Student Practice’
This is a crucial step in the lesson and should not be skipped! The teacher and students practice the steps, tasks or skills together. During this time, the teacher gradually releases more and more responsibility for learning to the students. The teacher also provides feedback along the way that directs students to refer back to the objective or learning target.
You Do- ‘Demonstration of Learning’
In this portion of the lesson, students perform the steps, task or skill independently to demonstrate their level of mastery towards the lesson objective or learning target. The teacher monitors mastery, checks for understanding, and continues to offer feedback to students.
Don’t leave a lesson hanging! Consider how you will bring closure to the lesson. How will you wrap up the lesson so students are given a chance to revisit the learning target or lesson objective, consolidate learning, and/or make meaning of the work they have just encountered? The students are the ones doing this thinking while the teacher takes on a facilitative role. The lesson closure also provides a good opportunity to collect formative assessment data that informs the teacher in making instructional decisions about upcoming lessons.
There are six simple questions to ask yourself as you plan engaging activities to include in your lesson plans. If you are new to lesson planning, you will want to refer to this guide and ask yourself all six questions frequently. However, as you become more comfortable with lesson planning, the process will become more automatic.
Once you answer all of these questions, you will have a better idea of what type of activities to plan and include in your lesson. Some lessons and concepts lend themselves to games, group work, movement, task cards, stations, etc. Others are better served with independent work, worksheets, or independent games. The six questions serve as a guide to help you choose the right set of activities that will best fit the lesson and your students’ needs.
Are you wondering what to include in a read aloud lesson plan? There’s so much that can be included that it might seem overwhelming. Interactive Read-alouds should include text dependent questions, standards-based graphic organizers, and response to text writing activities that meet the standards.
By spanning read-aloud lessons across three days, teachers have time to incorporate all the necessary components while also conquering the standards.
Before beginning to plan a read aloud lesson, you will need to select a story that is complex enough to revisit over three days. During the 3-day span, you will read the book for a different purpose each day.
Using your read-aloud time to infuse core standards will help you read with a purpose. Most standards are met by asking text dependent questions. You can also incorporate speaking and listening strategies while questioning by having the students discuss the questions with partners. You can learn more about other discussion strategies and accountable talk in the classroom here.
Here are some effective ways to meet core standards during read-aloud lessons:
Simply said, text dependent questions are those which can only be answered using evidence from the text. These types of questions are critical in a read-aloud lesson because they require students to read and reread the text in order to answer the question successfully.
To write text dependent questions, you need to consult your ELA comprehension standards. We typically refer to the Common Core ELA Literature and Informational Text standards and use question stems that target standards from each section (Key Ideas and Details, Craft and Structure, and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas).
Text dependent questions should be asked over the course of three days. Questions for the first lesson will focus on key ideas and details from the story. Focus on the craft and structure for the second lesson and the final lesson will focus on integration of knowledge and ideas. You can learn more about how we use text dependent questions here.
For each day of the read aloud lesson, students complete a graphic organizer after the focused discussion on text dependent questions. The graphic organizer should cover the same standards as the text dependent questions on each day. For the first lesson graphic organizers should help students focus on key ideas and details of the text, craft and structure is the focus for the second lesson, and graphic organizers that target integration of knowledge and ideas are used during the final lesson.
On the final day of a read aloud lesson, assign a response to text writing activity. This activity should incorporate writing standards in a meaningful way as students are asked to synthesize their learning over the span of the lessons.
We believe a strong classroom community starts the foundation for learning. We are passionate about helping teachers build a positive environment where students thrive. You can find helpful, popular classroom community resources here.
We also believe students are capable of doing hard things with perseverance and a growth mindset. We create rigorous lessons for kids that are carefully scaffolded. We provide teachers helpful, detailed instructions and examples of how to execute all of our lessons with students. You can find in-depth read-aloud lessons and paired text lessons here.
We believe digital resources are absolutely essential for today’s students. We are currently working hard to meet the demand for technology in the classroom. We have combined our expertise in literacy and technology to create digital lesson plans. Check out our most popular resource line Digital Learning Quests.
There are three fundamental elements to consider when providing effective distance learning instruction. While these fundamentals are also used during in-person lesson planning, the execution will look different for digital learning.
When creating lesson plans specifically designed for distance learning, it is important to keep these elements and instructional practices in mind. Let’s examine how these key components and related instructional ideas apply to distance learning in elementary classrooms.
Purposely plan moments to make meaningful connections between teacher and students and between student to student as classroom peers.
As teachers have grappled with the best ways to deliver quality instruction through distance learning, three styles of digital instruction have emerged as highly effective- synchronous, asynchronous, and semi-synchronous. Utilize all three styles of learning delivery methods to provide quality instruction that offers variety and flexibility for students.