Thursday, 24 May 2012 08:00

Preparing a Lesson Plan

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Preparing a lesson plan

Planning a lesson requires a lot more work than you may initially think as a new instructor, especially at the college level. Although you’re an expert in your field, planning and synthesizing all the material and course of action for your class commands a lot of organization, integration, and the ability to view all the outcomes and goals in the big picture.

What is a lesson?

A lesson is an organized group of activities designed to present a single portion of an entire course. There is often more than one lesson in any particular time block and it may incorporate several different teaching methods to deliver the material.

Using templates can help you organize essential items for your lessons instead of having to rely on spontaneous delivery. By aligning activities and assessment strategies to learning outcomes, you will be able to consider timeframes and resources or materials may subsequently be needed or considered.

See below for an example of a lesson plan template that may help you structure and organize your lessons.

Lesson Plan templates:

LESSON PLAN A (BOPPPS/ISW – Instructional Skills Workshop)


COURSE: Name of the course


DATE: Date of course delivery


BRIDGE: This section will include short simple activities that gain the learner’s attention and establish relevance to the course material, in essence “bridging” the gap between each lesson

Examples include:

  • stories connected to lesson topic or theme
  • making connections to what learners already know or what they are going to learn
  • posing provocative questions
  • state thought-provoking or unusual facts or assertions


OBJECTIVE: Include specific statements related to program and course expectations

Hint: Specify desired outcomes detailed enough that so that learning can be quantitatively measured

The objective is usually written in a sentence which includes the following:

  • who (student or learner)
  • will do what
  • under what conditions
  • and how well?

Example: The learner will correctly list all Canadian Provinces and Territories without referring to reference material.



  • Determines what learners already know
  • Reveals learner’s interests
  • Allows learner’s the opportunity to express needs and seek clarification
  • Helps instructor modify lesson to fit learner needs


  • Oral question and answers
  • Quizzes or tests
  • Brainstorming activities



Any materials that you may need to make the lesson successful i.e. scissors, paper, whiteboard markers








Use this section to track the time it should take to complete lesson tasks and activities


Use this section to outline interactions with instructor and learners; guidance or facilitation can vary


  • Pose questions
  • Facilitate discussions


Use this section to outline interactions among learners and learners, and among learners and the instructor



  • small group discussions
  • think-pair-share activities
  • peer evaluations
  • group tasks
  • role playing


Use this section to arrange resources that will be used during the session i.e. SMART boards, URL links, videos, articles, etc.



Communicates to the instructor what has been learned and if the desired objectives were met


  • Basic Knowledge

Multiple choice, true/false, matching, short-answer questions (written or verbal)

  • High Level thinking

Problem solving, essays, critiques, analysis of scenarios or texts

  • Skill

Checklists, rating scales, products, performance, demonstrations

  • Attitude

Attitude scales, performance, essays, journals, reflection


Concludes the sessions and cumulatively ties the learning experience to future lessons


  • Brief overview
  • “Last word” discussions
  • Action plan
  • Recognition of effort and achievement

To see the BOPPPS model in action watch the video below.

BOPPPS - Balancing Equations from Lethbridge College on Vimeo.

To download this template example and more click here.

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Jackie Doherty

I'm the Instructional Development Coordinator on the Educational Enhancement Team at the Lethbridge College as well as a mom and former teacher. I love to learn and share my ideas about teaching and learning and emerging technology in education.