Lesson Planning

Once a curriculum map has been created, one can begin to plan individual lessons/sessions. Planning must take into consideration your class size, classroom set up (type and layout of seating/tables), and duration of your class (one period? two periods? three periods?).

The following structure works very well to take one topic/session from your curriculum map and turn it into a lesson. The document template may be downloaded below. To complete the template/document, replace the questions and prompts with answers relevant to the lesson you are planning.

Elements of a Lesson Plan:
Course Title:
Class Date:
Lesson Title:
Learning Outcome(s) Addressed

  • Which course learning outcomes does this lesson address? (Taken from course outline)


  • What is the point of this lesson? How does it fit into the course? You should focus on the purpose during planning & delivery of this lesson.

Class Objectives

  • 1-2 objectives you will be able to assess or evaluate by end of class
  • Ensure the objectives are related to the learning outcome(s) and class content and are measurable and observable.

Bridge-In / Hook

  • How will you grab the learners’ attention, and provide them with some reason to be interested, and/or some motivation to become involved?
  • Students want to know, “What is in it for me?” and “Why does this matter?” (“So what?”)
  • How does this lesson fit with the previous one?

Lesson Requirements

  • What has to be done (by you and/or the students) to prepare for class?

Required Readings

  • What knowledge must the students have in order to follow the lesson?


  • To identify learners’ pre-existing knowledge and prior experience, answer the following questions
    • What does the learner already know about the topic(s)?
    • What questions do the learners have about the topic?
    • What pre-existing knowledge do the students need in order to be prepared for this lesson?
    • How will you “quickly” find out if they have this information/knowledge?
  • How will you fill in the gaps if they don’t have this information?
  • Anticipate disparity among your learners, and devise strategies to cope with this.
  • This informs the depth, pace and strategies for the lesson.

Content / Teaching & Learning

  • Input from you – main content: ideas, concepts, information, principles, procedures and examples.
  • Guided practice – application of knowledge: classroom activities for students, problems to solve, discussions, etc.
  • It is recommended that you break any lecture-type presentation into 20-minute segments, separated by a class activity.


  • What documents, technology, etc. are required for the lesson?


  • This wraps up the learning experience. Emphasize the key lessons, make links to other parts of the course. How can you help students to consolidate their new & existing knowledge?
  • Put the learning into a larger context (i.e. where have we come – where to next?)

Checking for Understanding (Formative Assessments)

  • What do the learners know now that they did not know before the lesson? What have students learned from the lesson? How will you check this, and at what point(s) in the lesson?

Link to Next Lesson/Topic

  • How does this lesson fit with the next one?
  • How does this lesson fit with your overall Assessment Plan?
  • How does this lesson relate to assignments, readings, further work you would like students to complete?
  • When planning this lesson, how will you take student accommodations into consideration?

Knaack, L. (2011). A Practical Handbook for Educators: Designing Learning Opportunities, p.154-155.
Centre for Teaching and Learning Services, Concordia University. (n.d.). Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan Template (Document)

Links and Resources:

“Stop Lecturing Me” (Scientific American)

“Why Long Lectures are Ineffective” (Time)

“Characteristics of Engaged Learners vs. Disengaged Learners” (Educational Technology and Mobile Learning)

“Encouraging Student Participation: Why It Pays to Sweat the Small Stuff” (Faculty Focus)

“Avoiding the Trap of “Q & A” Teaching” (Edutopia)

“Effective Ways to Structure Discussion” (Faculty Focus)

“How to Engage Underperforming Students” (Edutopia)
- Check the “How its Done” area below the video for great tips on lesson planning

“Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding”
- Scroll down the page to see “53 Ways to Check for Understanding”