As a teacher you may sometimes be stuck in unpredictable circumstances, it is advisable to plan beforehand for these kinds of situations. Knowing exactly what you will introduce in your lesson will relieve you from so much stress and will undoubtedly give you a clear idea of what may go on during a lesson.
Hints for lesson plan
- Prepare more than you need.
It is advisable to have an easily presented, light reserve activity ready in case of extra time.
- Be prepared to cut down some parts of your lesson.
You may be forced to sacrifice some activities when you run out of time. Note in advance which component(s) of the lesson you will sacrifice if you find yourself with too little time to do everything you have planned.
- Vary types of activities.
Learners differ, cognitively and affectively. So prepare something for everyone. For example, don’t stick to group work or pair work. Devise some activities for shy students to have the opportunity to work individually. Similarly don’t use text-based activities all the time. You may try picture graphs or listening materials.
- Logical stages
The stages of the lesson plan should be logical. Things should flow smoothly. Prepare pre-lesson, while-lesson, and post-lesson stages. Make sure your plan includes:
– an opening with a review of previous lessons or a warm-up to activate learners schemata,
– the main part of the lesson where you present the target language,
– an after-part of the lesson where you strengthen acquisition and actually use appropriately,
– a follow-up where learners personalize the newly acquired competencies.
- Take into consideration learners’ abilities.
Students’ competencies may differ and you may be in front of low-ability students and very competent ones in the same class. To deal with this situation apply a differentiated pedagogy.
- Keep an eye on your time.
Appropriate timing is of paramount importance. A session shouldn’t end in the middle of an activity. Make sure you are aware during the lesson of how time is going.
- Preserve the unity of your lesson.
For example, you may want to use a text as a reading activity to introduce a grammatical structure you will teach at a later stage.
When you assign homework, be clear, and give precise instructions.
- Include some humor
At the end of the lesson learners’ attention is at a low ebb, and you may run out of time before you finish explaining. One way to liven up the atmosphere is by introducing humor.
- Group work
If you are doing group work, give instructions, and make sure these are understood before handing out materials. If you do it the other way around, learners will be looking at each other and at the materials you have given them, and they are less likely to attend to what you will have to say.