Tool for the Field: Lesson Planning

Reading Lessons

Now we’re ready to move forward with designing lessons. As we do this in the following sections, remember to use a UDL approach and to reflect on how assets-based pedagogy invites you to think about your students. Designing to the edges is the best approach for all students, not just some of them.

Designing lessons requires planning. Lesson plans, of course, are plans for individual lessons. They’re like a recipe for teaching. A recipe tells you what you’re making and how to make it. It lists the things you’ll need, the sequence of steps to take, and the required times for doing different parts of the task. In education, planning comes before teaching. Good plans lead to good teaching. And good teaching leads to student learning.

Almost all lesson plans have nine parts. In the lesson plans used by some districts, one part might be omitted, or two parts might be combined. There’s variability. But knowing all nine parts helps you see how lessons are constructed. The table below reviews the essential components.

Tool for the Field: Lesson Planning


Part of the Lesson Plan What It Does Other Names for It
1. Introduction An introduction lists your name, your class, the date and time of the lesson, the subject of the lesson, the title of the lesson, and so on.
2. Objective of the lesson: what the lesson will teach The objective defines what students should know or be able to do after the lesson. Usually, this is written as a sentence. For example: “Students will make the sound of long A and identify spoken words that have the long A sound.” Sometimes the objective is written as an “I can” statement (e.g., “I can make the long-A sound”).


Learning objective

Learning goal


3. Academic standard This highlights the state education standard that the lesson is working toward, which is why you’re teaching it.

State standard

Content standard

4. Prior knowledge and how students will get ready for the new learning New learning happens best when it builds on something students already know. This part identifies what most students already know about the skill or knowledge the lesson teaches. It also lists the ways in which the teacher will remind students of what they already know.

Anticipatory set

Activate prior knowledge



5. Activities Activities outline step by step what the teacher and students will say and do during the lesson.





Body of the lesson


6. Materials This section identifies resources for teaching and learning the lesson: book titles, page numbers, worksheets, websites, hands-on items, tools, paper, art supplies, etc.

Page numbers in the textbook



7. Assessment: measuring if students have learned the skill being taught This helps teachers know if students are getting it and, after the lesson, if they have gotten it. It also helps teachers identify students who may need more time or support.


Formative assessment (Before, during, or after the lesson to show the teacher who and what still need teaching)

Summative assessment (After the lesson or after several lessons to show how well the students have learned the skill or knowledge that was taught)


8. Differentiation: how the teacher will change the lesson for individual students or small groups This explains possible changes to the lesson for helping certain students. For instance, do some students need different activities or materials to meet their needs? It also tells how the assessment will be individualized, how the lesson supports a student’s individual learning plan, and how the lesson will engage all students.




9. Wrap-up The lesson wrap-up reviews what was just taught, lets students show what they’ve learned, and gets students ready for the next lesson in the sequence.