Lesson Planning - Parts of a Formal and Informal Lesson Plan | Student Handouts
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Lesson Planning
Free Guides and Templates for Creating Lesson Plans - Graphic Organizers - Attendance Forms
Printable Lesson Plan Forms
Lesson Plans: Blank Standard Lesson Plan Sheet to Print (PDF File): Long Version
Lesson Plans: Blank Standard Lesson Plan Sheet to Print (PDF File): Short Version
Parts of a Formal Lesson Plan
  • Name of the teacher.
  • Name of the class, course, or subject.
  • Grade level.
  • Topic (textbook pages, lesson number, unit).
  • Time allotment.
Materials Needed
  • Do not include standard classroom equipment (e.g., chalkboard).
  • Include things such as books, colored pencils, PowerPoint presentation, handouts, etc.
  • District, state, and national standards (whatever is applicable at the school).
  • Long-term objectives (describe the lesson as part of a larger idea, such as a one-day lesson on Louis XIV that contributes to understanding the chapter concept on the growth of absolute monarchy).
  • Short-term (lesson) objectives: Measurable and specific, phrased in terms of "the student will..."
  • Introduction: Start with a hook (an attention-getter) to introduce the lesson.  This should be understandable and relatable, and should activate prior knowledge.
  • Instruction: How will the goals of the lesson be reached?  What will the students do to reach the objectives?  Will the students complete a learning task in teams?  Will the students take notes from a lecture?
  • Closing: Students demonstrate that they followed the instructions.  This includes anything from sharing teamwork results, to review questions over a lecture or PowerPoint.
Independent Work
  • This includes follow-up work done in class or as homework.
  • Any work assigned should be an extension of the in-class lesson.  Ideally, it simultaneously reinforces the lesson, builds upon it, and creates background knowledge for the next lesson.
  • Determine whether or not the goals of the lesson have been reached.  Types of assessment may vary.
  • Formal assessments include quizzes, tests, work (such as essays) evaluated according to a rubric, etc.
  • Informal assessments include looking over students' completed assignments, question-and-answer sessions, etc.
  • This is done after the lesson as a self-reflection exercise.
  • What parts of this lesson worked well?  How might these parts be made even better?
  • What parts of this lesson did not work?  Why?  Should these parts be altered, changed, or scrapped?
Free Printable Lesson Planning Forms - Both formal and informal versions/formats.
Parts of an Informal Lesson Plan
The formal lesson plan (above) is the sort of plan that budding teachers submit to colleges of education, or to administrators during the first-year teacher evaluation process.  Formal lesson plans can take up a lot of time if they are done on a daily basis.  For everyday classroom use, all that you need is an informal lesson plan.  These can be written in a lesson planning book and/or on the board.
  • Write down what you want the students to do or know. 
  • Example: "Students will examine the ways in which Louis XIV was or was not an absolute monarch."
  • Briefly note the local/national/state standards being met.
  • Example: "PowerPoint presentation: Students will actively listen, take notes, and participate in classroom discussion."
  • Example: "Students will use their PowerPoint notes to write a 50-word paragraph on how Louis XIV was or was not an absolute monarch."
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