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Lesson Plan: Professional Writing and Research Skills


In this lesson, students will learn to research, prepare a formal report and present their research findings. The lesson also has activities that introduce students to Citation Skills.

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Scroll to the related items section at the bottom of this page for additional resources.

Lesson Plans for Teaching Writing

by Chris Jennings Dixon (editor)

Lesson Plans for Teaching Writing


This collection of lesson plans, grouped around popular categories such as Writing Process, Portfolios, and Writing on Demand, will help prepare high school and college students for college-level writing.

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  • Kindergarten K
  • Professional development
  • Planning lessons and courses

Planning a writing lesson

Writing, unlike speaking, is not an ability we acquire naturally, even in our first language - it has to be taught. Unless L2 learners are explicitly taught how to write in the new language, their writing skills are likely to get left behind as their speaking progresses.

professional writing lesson plan

But teaching writing is not just about grammar, spelling, or the mechanics of the Roman alphabet. Learners also need to be aware of and use the conventions of the genre in the new language.

What is genre?

Generating ideas

Focusing ideas

Focus on a model text

Organising ideas

  • Peer evaluation

A genre can be anything from a menu to a wedding invitation, from a newspaper article to an estate agent's description of a house. Pieces of writing of the same genre share some features, in terms of layout, level of formality, and language. These features are more fixed in formal genre, for example letters of complaint and essays, than in more 'creative' writing, such as poems or descriptions. The more formal genre often feature in exams, and may also be relevant to learners' present or future 'real-world' needs, such as university study or business. However, genre vary considerably between cultures, and even adult learners familiar with a range of genre in their L1 need to learn to use the conventions of those genre in English.

Stages of a writing lesson

I don't necessarily include all these stages in every writing lesson, and the emphasis given to each stage may differ according to the genre of the writing and / or the time available. Learners work in pairs or groups as much as possible, to share ideas and knowledge, and because this provides a good opportunity for practising the speaking, listening and reading skills.

This is often the first stage of a process approach to writing. Even when producing a piece of writing of a highly conventional genre, such as a letter of complaint, using learners' own ideas can make the writing more memorable and meaningful.

  • Before writing a letter of complaint, learners think about a situation when they have complained about faulty goods or bad service (or have felt like complaining), and tell a partner.
  • As the first stage of preparing to write an essay, I give learners the essay title and pieces of scrap paper. They have 3 minutes to work alone, writing one idea on each piece of paper, before comparing in groups. Each group can then present their 3 best ideas to the class. It doesn't matter if the ideas aren't used in the final piece of writing, the important thing is to break through the barrier of ' I can't think of anything to write.'

This is another stage taken from a process approach, and it involves thinking about which of the many ideas generated are the most important or relevant, and perhaps taking a particular point of view.

  • As part of the essay-writing process, students in groups put the ideas generated in the previous stage onto a 'mind map'. The teacher then draws a mind-map on the board, using ideas from the different groups. At this stage he / she can also feed in some useful collocations - this gives the learners the tools to better express their own ideas.
  • I tell my students to write individually for about 10 minutes, without stopping and without worrying about grammar or punctuation. If they don't know a particular word, they write it in their L1. This often helps learners to further develop some of the ideas used during the 'Generating ideas' stage. Learners then compare together what they have written, and use a dictionary, the teacher or each other to find in English any words or phrases they wrote in their L1.

Once the students have generated their own ideas, and thought about which are the most important or relevant, I try to give them the tools to express those ideas in the most appropriate way. The examination of model texts is often prominent in product or genre approaches to writing, and will help raise learners' awareness of the conventions of typical texts of different genres in English.

  • I give learners in groups several examples of a genre, and they use a genre analysis form to identify the features and language they have in common. This raises their awareness of the features of the genre and gives them some language 'chunks' they can use in their own writing. Genre analysis form 54k
  • reason for writing
  • how I found out about the job
  • relevant experience, skills and abilities
  • closing paragraph asking for an interview
  • Learners are given an essay with the topic sentences taken out, and put them back in the right place. This raises their awareness of the organisation of the essay and the importance of topic sentences.

Once learners have seen how the ideas are organised in typical examples of the genre, they can go about organising their own ideas in a similar way.

  • Students in groups draft a plan of their work, including how many paragraphs and the main points of each paragraph. These can then be pinned up around the room for comment and comparison.
  • When preparing to write an essay, students group some of the ideas produced earlier into main and supporting statements.

In a pure process approach, the writer goes through several drafts before producing a final version. In practical terms, and as part of a general English course, this is not always possible. Nevertheless, it may be helpful to let students know beforehand if you are going to ask them to write a second draft. Those with access to a word processor can then use it, to facilitate the redrafting process. The writing itself can be done alone, at home or in class, or collaboratively in pairs or groups. Peer evaluation

Peer evaluation of writing helps learners to become aware of an audience other then the teacher. If students are to write a second draft, I ask other learners to comment on what they liked / didn't like about the piece of work, or what they found unclear, so that these comments can be incorporated into the second draft. The teacher can also respond at this stage by commenting on the content and the organisation of ideas, without yet giving a grade or correcting details of grammar and spelling.

When writing a final draft, students should be encouraged to check the details of grammar and spelling, which may have taken a back seat to ideas and organisation in the previous stages. Instead of correcting writing myself, I use codes to help students correct their own writing and learn from their mistakes. Error correction code 43k

By going through some or all of these stages, learners use their own ideas to produce a piece of writing that uses the conventions of a genre appropriately and in so doing, they are asked to think about the audience's expectations of a piece of writing of a particular genre, and the impact of their writing on the reader.

If you have any ideas that you feel have successfully helped your students to develop their writing why not add them as a comment below and share them.

Further reading

A process genre approach to teaching writing by Badger, Richards and White. ELT Journal Volume 54(2), pp. 153-160 Writing by T Hedge. Oxford University Press. Writing by C Tribble. Oxford University Press Process writing by R White and V Arndt. Longman

Really innovative

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It was very informative and…

It was very informative and helpful

Interesting article.

Useful information

This is a very nice and…

This is a very nice and informative article.

Thanks for this amazing article

Planning a Writing Lesson Plan

I believe this will make the lesson not only productive but also interesting. Thank you.

Thanks for a very interesting

Thanks for a very interesting and useful article.

Ideas first, then language

 Thanks for sharing the plan~

I found in my class that it is always 'Ideas firt, then language follows', similar to L1 writing.

Adding info

Dear Catherine,

I found your article very useful and I love the advice you give. When I ask my students to write an essay, I tend to correct their mistakes for them and after reading the article I realized that I should be doing it the way you suggested. I learned from my mistakes by finding them out and correcting them not having them corrected for me. 

Thank you for a wonderful article.

Re : Planning a writing lesson

Thanks for nice info.

I am grateful for you for this great article

Re: Planning a writing lesson submitted by Catherine Morley

I read your very interesting article on 'Planning a Writing Lesson'. I was glad to reconfirm all these stages that we have also been applying in my 2 Language Centres for the last 30 years and we are still developing! I'd like to contribute to the Error Correction Codes if I may by adding some symbols (as we call them) such as:

we wrong expression

P wrong punctuation

L1 mother tongue interference a inappropriate (i.e. etc. in an essay)

v wrong verb form (i.e. he have)

G wrong grammar (i.e. leafes instead of leaves)

R you repeat yourself (when the same point/idea is presented in another part of the essay)

st wrong style (i.e. informal words/abbreviations in formal writing)

ʌ add a word/a word is missing / leave a word out

We started using a list of symbols about 30 years ago following the international bibliography. Then we gradually added the above symbols for the following reasons: Symbol G (grammar error) defines the error and it becomes more specific for the learner; for some years we had used WW for wrong words/grammar errors but we found out during a teachers' meeting that the symbol WW was not adequate for all wrong words. Another symbol that is useful is L1 (mother tongue interference) as students tend to often express themselves in their mother tongue (expressions or words that, in our case, may make sense in Greek but are inaccurate in English). The symbol R (you repeat yourself) can help the learners see why a new paragraph (where they may still be presenting the same idea but with different vocabulary) does not get any credit and marksdowns their essay, especially when practising writing tasks part A for their Cambridge Examinations where the points are given in the topic and the students are required to develop all of them. The symbol ST (wrong style) has also proved very useful to alert them against using informal words/phrasal verbs when writing a formal essay/letter. The symbol A (inappropriate) was represented before by WW (wrong word) but we needed to emphasise that some words, such as etc or OK, in a writing task other than an informal letter or informal e-mail are unacceptable. It has worked very well with our students. The symbol ʌ (add a word/a word is missing) makes the learners think over about the expressions/sentences/clauses they have used in that particular line; sometimes the subject or the object of a verb are missing, which of course is GR (grammar error) but at the same time it makes their sentence or paragraph inaccurate or incomprehensible.

Thank you again for such an interesting article.

Eugenia Papaioannou, EFL teacher, Greece

Student ideas come first!

Thank you, I've just received one of the most useful advice regarding the stages of teaching Writing.

In the approach you're describing, Focusing on a Model Text comes only after the students have generated, ranked/prioritised and drafted their own ideas. I was doing it the other way around, introducing the sample texts/tasks (Business Emails) before I even attempted to elicit any pre-existing knowledge the students might have on the subject.

The result was either making the subject only marginally relevant to the students, or making them feel that they're not contributing much to the lesson. Once you flip these writing stages around, the frustration of not being able to come up with original ideas is replaced by the sense of achievement, when their ideas are confirmed in the model texts.

I have read the article of  "Planning a writing lesson" which was submitted by  Catherine Morley on the 27th of April in 2011.

The article was devoted to the most important theme. So it is very useful for every teacher. One teaches language certainly he must teach how to create writings in this language. As the author mentioned this skill has to be tought even in the native language. Catherine wrote her article absolutely great as she could give the best plan how to conduct a writing lesson. I am entirely agree with her viewpoints. I've learnt some good things from her article. She gave her lesson plan accurately. There are a number of examples which help us to understand her points correctly. In the future I also want to use the author's plan to teach my students.

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

See our publications, research and insight

professional writing lesson plan

Creating Lesson Plans

There are many approaches to writing lesson plans. Some instructors develop their plans independently from scratch, while others borrow plans from a shared curriculum. Some carefully write out all the details for their lesson, while others use a brief outline. Your approach to writing lesson plans will depend on various factors: how well you know the material you're teaching, how long you've been teaching, the kinds of teaching you've done, and the students you expect to have in your class. There is no single formula for writing lesson plans, but this guide will help you think through some of the processes that other instructors have found valuable to their own lesson planning.

Guidelines for writing lesson plans:

Consider Your Destination

Sequence your objectives, know your time frame.

  • Create Activities to Meet Your Objectives

Check for Understanding

Sample lesson plan format.

  • Citation Information

When creating lesson plans, always keep your destination in mind. Where do you want students to end up? If you're planning daily activities, think about how these activities connect to the larger goals for the course. Ask yourself, how will each activity prepare students for the upcoming portfolio assignment? Assuming that your assignment sheets accurately reflect the course goals, use them at the beginning of each unit to determine:

  • What is the overall goal for this assignment? What is the assignment asking students to do?
  • What knowledge do students already have that will help them meet the goals for writing this assignment?
  • What skills and concepts will students need to meet the goals for this assignment?

From these questions, create a list of smaller objectives to use as stepping stones for your destination. If you are planning writing assignments for student portfolios, your list of objectives may include:

Portfolio 1 - Objectives for Teaching Summary/Response

  • Students will think about their purpose, audience and context for writing.
  • Students will use critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies to become better writers.
  • Students will practice writing academic summaries.
  • Students will practice writing different types of response.
  • Students will learn to develop a claim and support that claim with reasons and evidence.
  • Students will learn to value revision through workshops and other peer review activities.

While sequencing your objectives, consider how each one builds off another. How might one objective prepare students for learning another? If reading critically helps students summarize an argument, you might address your critical reading objective before teaching summary.

Also, think about what your students know. Given the information they already have, which objectives would be best met at certain points in the unit? Will simpler objectives work better at the start of a unit? Will more complicated objectives make clearer sense to students after some basic objectives have already been met?

Finally, determine how your sequencing of objectives will best meet these goals and requirements for the upcoming assignment.

While sequencing your objectives, be aware of the amount of time allotted for each portfolio. Based on the overall goals for the portfolio, determine how much time you will need to spend addressing each objective. Keep in mind that a single lesson will address only one or two objectives. Some of these goals will be easily met, while others will present a challenge for students. You may decide to build in extra time to review concepts that are more challenging.

Try to be flexible, but remain within a reasonable time frame. Spending three days on one essay may be too much (even if students are thrilled by the subject matter). One strategy to help you keep up your pace, is to utilize outside resources such as the CSU Writing Center or online tutorials. The Writing at CSU home page contains plenty of online resources as well. Use these resources to compliment discussions and save you some time in class.

Below is an example for how you might organize your sequence and time frame for the first student portfolio:

Portfolio I - Sequence and Time Frame for Objectives:

  • Students will begin to think about their purpose, audience and context for writing. (day 1)
  • Students will use critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies to become better writers. (day 2)
  • Students will practice writing academic summaries. (days 3 - 4)
  • Students will practice writing different types of response. (days 5 - 6)
  • Students will learn to develop a claim and support that claim with reasons and evidence. (day 7)
  • Students will learn to value revision through workshops and other peer- review activities. (day 8)

Develop Activities to Meet Objectives

Once you've sequenced your objectives within a given time frame, the next step is to create activities that will help students meet each objective. Decide which activities are most relevant to your desired objectives. Take the time to revise existing activities and to create new ones that meet the needs of your class. You may also combine activities or eliminate some that seem less related to your objectives.

Two questions that you should always keep in mind when constructing activities are: "What do my students already know that will help them meet a desired objective?" And, "What activities will best help students meet a desired objective?"

Below is an example illustrating how you might design activities to meet a particular objective:

Objective: Students will use critical thinking skills and critical reading strategies to become better writers.


  • Define critical reading and provide a list of strategies on an overhead (this is useful because many students do not know what critical reading is).
  • Model critical reading strategies (show students how to implement critical reading strategies).
  • Have students practice critical reading strategies with their homework.
  • Ask students to respond to an in class writing, describing their experience with the critical reading assignment. Have them speculate as to how this process of critical reading will influence their own writing. As a group, discuss the connection between reading and writing.

Just as you did with objectives, you'll need to create a sequence and time frame for your activities. Which activities should come first? How much class time will each activity take? Planning this out ahead of time will help you create smoother transitions between activities and it will help you connect your activities to larger, writing-related objectives.

The final step in planning lessons is to make time for assessing students' learning. How will you check to see that students understand the new concepts you're teaching? When will you revisit the material that they didn't quite grasp?

Intervention along the way can help you learn what students are struggling with. Many instructors collect homework once a week, or assign quizzes and short writing exercises to assess their students' progress. Conferences and e-mail exchanges are other effective means for gauging students' understanding.

Depending on what you learn from using evaluative measures, you may need to revise your lesson plans. If students' homework indicates that they're having trouble summarizing main points, you may spend the first fifteen minutes of the next class reviewing this concept. Addressing such struggles early on will help students face the more challenging objectives that follow.

Just as you did with objectives, you'll need to create a sequence and time frame for your activities. Which activities should come first? How much class time will each activity take? Planning this out ahead of time will help you create smoother transitions between activities, and help you connect your activities to larger, writing-related objectives.

Course: Date: Materials needed: Class Announcements:

  • Class Objectives: Write out the goals or objectives for class. Try to limit these to one or two things.
  • Connection to Course Goals: Describe how your daily objectives connect to the overall course goals.
  • Anticipatory Set: Sometimes referred to as a "hook." Use an informal Writing to Learn (WTL) exercise, a question, a quote, or an object to focus students' attention at the start of class. This activity should be brief and directly related to the lesson.
  • Introduction: Write down what you'll need to inform students of the daily goals and class procedures. Be sure to explain how these procedures relate to students' own writing.
  • Procedures: List your activities, including any discussion questions and transitions along the way.
  • Conclusion: Describe the objective for the lesson and point students forward by connecting your objective to their own writing.
  • What to do Next Time: Leave space in your plan to reflect on the lesson and suggest future changes.

Also see the guide on Planning a Class for help with writing introductions, transitions, and conclusions.

Eglin, Kerry. (2008). Creating Lesson Plans. Writing@CSU . Colorado State University. https://writing.colostate.edu/teaching/guide.cfm?guideid=96

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Writing Lesson Plan Stages (+ Sample in PDF)

  • April 28, 2021 September 22, 2023

Writing lesson plan stages

Writing Lesson Plan Stages

This article provides a description of the writing lesson plan stages. A link to a sample of the lesson plan is provided at the end of the article.

Writing As A Skill

A  writing  lesson involves training learners to develop writing skills. By definition, a skill is an ability developed through training and practice. Nobody is born a writer; we become writers. Even native speakers need to be taught how to write. The sub-skills involved in writing range from the knowledge of the alphabet to the ability to produce a coherent text. Here are a few examples of sub-skills:

  • Handwriting
  • Mechanics (spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)
  • Grammar and vocabulary
  • Cohesion (i.e., the ability to use grammatical and lexical linking that holds a text together and give it meaning.)
  • Coherence (i.e., the ability to produce a coherent text so that the reader can follow the line of thoughts of the author.)
  • The knowledge of the genre (i.e., the categories of writing such as reports, essays, emails, formal letters, etc)

Obviously, we are not born with the above sub-skills. We develop them through practice and perseverance. The following sections provide the writing lesson plan stages that help learners develop these sub-skills.

You can also find a link to a writing lesson plan sample at the end of the article.

What Are The Stages Of A Writing Lesson Plan?

The writing lesson plan should include stages that guide the students to discover the distinctive features of a model text, a genre such as formal letters, reports, or essays. Then, ideally, the students should be invited to practice the language, the layout, and the format of the target genre we want to teach. This should be followed by the process competent writers follow when writing, namely, planning, drafting, revising, and editing. This is commonly referred to as  Process Writing:

  • Reading a model text that represents a genre such as an email, a report, an essay, an advertisement, etc.
  • Understanding the text, studying the genre, and analyzing its distinctive features (e.g., the language and the layout or format of the text.)
  • Assigning the topic and making sure the students understand it.
  • Planning (i.e., collecting ideas and making an outline)
  • Drafting (i.e., producing the first version of the task)
  • Revising (i.e., looking at the overall content and organization of ideas.)
  • Editing (i.e., tidying up the draft and checking for diction, grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes)
  • Producing the final draft

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Let’s delve into the different phases of constructing a writing lesson plan.

professional writing lesson plan

Structure of a Writing Lesson Plan

Here are the four writing lesson plan stages:

Stage 1 – Model Text

The first of the four writing lesson plan stages consists of providing a model text of a genre and analyzing its distinctive features. This can be done by assigning well-designed guiding activities to help learners identify:

  • The characteristic language of the genre (formal or informal, the expressions or vocabulary and grammar used to convey meaning.)
  • The linking words and transitions used to connect the sentences of the text.
  • The format or layout of the text.

Stage 2 -Practice

The practice involves working on the language and format of the genre. At this stage, the teacher assigns well-designed guiding activities to train the learners in using the right type of language, linking words, and layout. These can be in the form of matching, gap-filling, sentence completion, etc.

Stage 3 The Topic

Assigning the topic is not that easy. First, it has to be contextualized. Second, it has to be well understood by the learners.

1. Contextualizing the topic

The writing topic should be contextualized and should answer the following requirements:  who is writing what to whom and why?  Simply, asking the students to write about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones is not helpful and is purposeless.

What should they write (i.e., what genre?): an email, an essay, an article, etc. And who is the audience? Are they the readers of a magazine, a friend, or conference participants? Finally, why should they write about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones in the first place? Is it because they noticed that their mates have become addicted to their smartphones? Is the writing a reaction to an article in a magazine?

An improved formulation of the topic should consider all these elements.

You have noticed that many of your school mates have become addicted to their smartphones. Write a short article for the school magazine to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of smartphones to raise the their awareness of the positive and negative aspects of smartphones.

2. Understanding the topic

Learners should understand the topic. They should understand what genre they should produce, who they should write to, and why they are writing about that topic. To make sure they understand the topic, you may want to ask them to complete a chart.

Stage 4 – Process Writing

After understanding the topic, invite the students to go through Process Writing.

1. Planning

Learners are prompted to collect as many ideas about the topic as possible through tasks such as brainstorming, discussions, chart filling, quick writing, answers to questions, etc.

2. Drafting

This is the first version of the writing. Students shouldn’t be concerned with accuracy at this stage.

3. Revising

When they finish writing their first draft, students are encouraged to look at the overall organization of the text, paying attention to whether the ideas included are relevant, getting rid of those that don’t fit, and adding more ideas if need be. They should understand that the reader should be able to follow their line of thought.

At this stage, learners focus on tidying up their drafts. They check diction (i.e., the choice of words), grammar, and mechanics (e.g., spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)

Editing can be done by the learners themselves (i.e. self-editing) or with the help of their peers (i.e. peer editing).

5. Final draft

The final draft is the final version of the text. To recognize and value the students’ productions, help them publish their writing online such as on the class blog, Facebook group, or wiki.

professional writing lesson plan

Check the writing lesson plan sample in PDF Format. Click here .

How to Write a Lesson Plan: A Teacher’s Guide

professional writing lesson plan

Lesson planning is a necessary first step in implementing curriculum themes. Creating a lesson plan with clearly defined learning objectives, goals, and a metric for measuring progress toward these goals is vital to ensuring students benefit as much as possible from weekly lessons. Ask questions of yourself that pertain to the structure and benefits of your lessons as well as the needs of your students. Some things to ask when creating your lesson plan are

  • What is the goal/learning objective of this lesson?
  • What materials are necessary to teach this lesson effectively?
  • What types of activities will best help my students learn this lesson?
  • Which group sizes are best for each activity and will best aid students in their learning processes?

Consider your class’s collective and individual learning styles and needs. Are your students more responsive to finding their own research texts than the textbooks and websites you provide? You may have many hands-on learners who need physical activities to help them process information. Be mindful of any special needs or barriers students may have that will require additional materials or assistance to allow them to participate in activities and lessons. Your lesson plan should also be clearly written, concise, and easy to follow and implement. By writing lesson plans in this manner, you’ll be able to provide a road map for any substitute teachers in your room to follow in your absence.

Key Components of a Lesson Plan with Examples

Your lesson plan should include:

  • An objective or statement of learning goals: Objectives are the foundation of your lesson plan. They should be clearly stated and should outline which skills, knowledge, or understanding students are expected to gain as a result of the lesson ( ex : “At the end of this lesson, students will be able to observe and identify all 50 United States.”) Be mindful that your objectives are realistic, measurable, and in compliance with the educational standards of your school and/or district for your grade level.
  • Materials needed: Make a list of all necessary materials and ensure they are available well in advance of the lesson. If your lesson requires use of shared materials or spaces (such as computer labs or shared electronics), make sure you reserve these spaces and confirm their reservation. Keep materials together in a secure space and labeled for your lesson, and have extra available. Include any links or media that are necessary for your lesson, as well as materials needed. Ensure your sites are bookmarked and playlists are compiled in advance.
  • The procedure and instructions: Create detailed notes on both the process for the lesson or activity and on how instructions are to be given. Maybe there is certain information you don’t want students to be told upfront, but you want them to discover it throughout the course of the lesson. Your lesson plan should be detailed enough that anyone who reads it will have all the same information and ability to effectively teach the lesson.
  • Group sizes for lessons and activities: It is best to use a mix of groupings for the activities within your lessons, including individual, pairs, small group, and whole class work. When planning your activities, contemplate which groupings will work best for each activity or if students will have the option of choosing which group sizes work best for them. Consider materials needed and the availability of those materials/resources for each activity.
  • A method of assessing student progress toward objectives: How will you determine if your lesson plan accomplished its goal of achieving learning objectives? In your lesson plan, detail your process for assessment (oral quiz, written quiz, project, etc.) and get feedback on what worked and didn’t work for students. Determine what values will be used to define your lesson’s success ( ex : students are able to display knowledge comprehension in line with the learning objective 80% of the time).
  • Any homework assignments relevant to the lesson to extend learning.

Aim to have lesson plans completed no later than the Thursday prior to their implementation. Allow time to observe progress toward the current week’s objectives, and determine if extending the lesson into next week is necessary. Give yourself sufficient time to gather necessary materials as well. Some schools and districts require the use of lesson planning books and templates for creating lesson plans. If yours doesn’t, you can create your own weekly lesson plan template or download one from a website. Find great lesson plan samples of teacher-created templates here . With some guidance and practice, you’ll be on your way to learning how to make a lesson plan of your own.

Lesson Planning for Effective Classroom Management

Lesson planning plays a huge role in providing students with the stable classroom environments that best support their learning. No matter the age group, students respond best to predictable routines in which they are involved and aware of the process and are able to anticipate what comes next. Post your lesson plans in multiple visible places where students, substitutes, and parents can all see them and easily stay caught up on your curriculum. Have students alternate reading the next day’s activities, materials, and required homework as an exit ticket.

A lesson plan for teachers that takes into account students’ learning styles and interests goes a long way to promoting student engagement and classroom involvement. Encourage your students to give feedback on lessons, either throughout the week or at the end of a completed lesson, and take note of which elements brought out the best and worst responses.

Looking for Additional Lesson Plan Ideas and Inspiration?

Like any skill, creating a good lesson plan format gets easier the more you do it. It might start off seeming like an intimidating feat, but if you’re consistent after a while, you find your rhythm. The most important part of the process is to always be considering the needs of your class, and that includes you as a teacher. Creativity in lesson planning is important, but stay mindful of your budget and time restrictions, and don’t overextend yourself.

After reading this lesson plan guide, if you’re searching for ideas on how to create a lesson plan, check out these links for insights about EdTech trends, introducing technology into your classroom for the first time, and ways to capture students’ attention:

  • https://blog.goguardian.com/want-to-provide-better-education-dont-compromise-on-classroom-management
  • https://blog.goguardian.com/how-teachers-can-integrate-technology-in-the-classroom
  • https://blog.goguardian.com/unique-ways-to-use-technology-in-the-classroom

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Blog Education

27+ Easy-to-Edit Lesson Plan Examples [+ Writing Tips]

By Alice Corner , May 29, 2023

Lesson plans are the best way to deliver an effective and engaging lesson. Lesson plans also help keep you on track to ensure that your learners hit their goals and targets, in line with your course curriculum.

But sometimes in the high-pressure world of education, it can be difficult to find the time to create inspiring lesson plans on your own. 

We’ve gathered together 28 of the best lesson plan examples on the internet that you can use to ensure your lessons are insightful and inspiring.

Table of Contents (click to jump ahead):

What is a lesson plan, what is included in a lesson plan.

  • Science lesson plans

Science l esson plans

Planning a science lesson can mean anything from experiments, to monitoring, or to diagramming and labelling. Creating a science lesson plan is important to ensure that all of the students are effectively learning whilst remaining engaged and safe.

Following a template, like in the science lesson plan examples below, can help make sure that your science lessons run smoothly.

1. Provide a space for reflection in your science lesson plan

Whilst a lesson plan is a place to schedule your activities, it can also be a great document to refer back to when planning future sessions. Adding a reflection section in your science lesson plan can be a great way to add notes about what worked and what didn’t within your lesson, for future reference. 

Venngage blue science lesson plan example

2. Break projects down into sections of deliverables

If you’re conducting a difficult lesson, such as a hands on science project, it can be handy to help yourself and your students by outlining expectations. A checklist can be a great way to make your science lesson plan as effective as possible.

In this lesson plan example, the deliverables have been broken into easy-to-follow checklists.

Venngage elearning science lesson plan example

3. Use illustrations to bring your lesson plan templates to life

Your lesson plans should inspire you, not bore you! Using illustrations is a great way to bring your lesson plans to life. 

In this sample lesson plan, the teacher has used colorful and playful illustrations to reflect the content of the lessons.

Recycling lesson plans example

Teaching math can sometimes seem like a struggle when trying to engage learners in difficult material. Math can sometimes feel “dry” or repetitive, and students can seem easily frustrated. 

Math lesson plans are the key to bringing numbers to life for your students, and are an essential for any math lesson or course. Check out these lesson plan ideas for writing the best math lesson plan, as well as some templates you can edit.

4. Use pops of color in your lesson plans

Just because your lesson plan tackles a complex subject doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Using a splash of bright color can help make your lesson plan engaging.

In this lesson plan example a mint green color has been used to help break up the design. You could color code different subjects or units if you have multiple classes to teach.

High school math lesson plan template Venngage

5. Break your lesson plan into sections to make it easy to follow

Lesson planning can be complex, with lots of different sections of the lesson to think about. Being properly prepared for any eventuality in your lesson starts with good planning. By using sections, like in the lesson plan example below, you can cover all of your bases. 

When lesson planning, consider the following:

  • Lesson discussion questions
  • Activity options for multiple group sizes
  • Lesson notes or feedback

In this math lesson plan activity the teacher has thought through all of the needs of their class.

Guided math lesson plan example

Imagination, drama, romance and tragedy. English lessons have it all. But they can also be complicated to teach, with many moving parts to any one lesson. 

Creating an English lesson plan is the best way to keep track of all the learning strands and activities that are needed for learning success.

Like you’ll see in the English lesson plan examples below, creating engaging activities to a strict time schedule is perfectly possible with enough planning.

6. Use your lesson plan to schedule each activity by the minute

Any teacher will know the feeling of reaching the end of your material with 10 minutes left in the lesson.

Avoid running short (or running over!) in your lessons by planning down to the minute. The English lesson plan example below measures out timings for each activity so you finish perfectly on time. 

You can use a timer on your interactive whiteboard , or get students to time themselves. Scheduling is a great skill to incorporate into any lesson plan.

Timed english lesson plan example

7. Think outside the box when lesson planning

When lesson planning, the world, or at least the internet, is your Oyster. Instead of just teaching vocabulary, use scavenger hunts, word searches, or story activities. 

Try picking a new activity and building your lesson around that. In the lesson activity example below, Merriam-Webster has a dictionary scavenger hunt that will keep students engaged and entertained throughout your English lesson.

Merriam Webster Dictionary English Lesson Plan

8. Highlight your lesson objectives at the top of your lesson plan

Your learning objectives should guide your lesson planning, not the other way around. Especially in subjects like English, focusing on your objectives first can make sure your students are learning effectively.

In this sample lesson plan that focuses on analyzing a film for an English class, the learning objectives are housed within the same section as the lesson plan overview, right on the first page:

English lesson plan example our man in tehran

If you want to learn how to write an actional learning objective , check out this post on learning objective examples .

No matter if you’re teaching the near past or the ancient history, planning History lessons is essential for a successful session.

Using common teaching resources such as timeline infographics , or imaginative play and learning are exciting ways to make your History lesson plans exciting.

9. Prepare for history lessons with a history timeline infographic

Teaching history in an effective and engaging way relies on the teachers ability to bring the past back to life. For some students, mentally visualizing history can be difficult. A timeline infographic is a great way to teach historical events.

When planning your history lesson, make sure you have all of your timelines sorted. You can either prepare your history timelines in advance or get the students to create their own history timeline as part of the lesson activity.

Venngage has a whole range of timeline infographic templates that are easy to customize. 

history timeline infographic venngage

Want to learn more about how to create a timeline infographic? Check out the video below:

10. Use themes and historical events to enrich your lesson planning

When planning your history lessons, look for topical themes or historical events that you can anchor your lesson plan around.

In the lesson plan example below, the teacher is using Black History Month as an anchor point for their students’ learning.

Black History Month Lesson Plan example

Teaching the historical significance of Black History Month, and engaging students in related learning activities throughout February is a great way to contextualize current affairs. There are plenty of resources online to help create your Black History Month lesson plans.

Related Reading: Looking for other global holidays and events to theme your lessons on? Check this Ultimate List of Holidays .

Art lessons lend themselves to creative and visual learning , so your Art lesson plans should be creative and visual as well.

Use bright colors, patterns, icons, and graphics to create a truly engaging visual art lesson plan, like in the examples below.

11. Incorporate learning examples in your art lesson plans

Art lesson plans can be one of the most fun to create. Art as a visual medium lends itself to an exciting and decorative lesson plan. 

In the art lesson plan example below, the teacher has inserted visual examples to use during the lesson directly into their lesson plan. Collecting all of this information in one place means that you can quickly refer back to your lesson plan mid teaching. 

ART LESSON PLAN 3rd grade rousseau jungle

12. Be creative with your art lesson plan design

If you’re creating an art course, you’re probably a creative person. Why not let that creativity shine in your lesson plan templates?

Fun illustrations and patterns have been used in the lesson plan sample below to create a visually appealing lesson plan design.

Colorful lesson plan example

When picking colors for your lesson plan design, some schools will need to be aware of color connotations. Certain colors should be avoided due to gang or rivalry associations. Some schools will also want to ensure that all materials produced fit within your school colors.

13. Use colors and patterns in your art lesson plan designs

As well as colors, patterns can be used, like in this art lesson plan example, to create interest in your lesson plan design. 

Picking a patterned but simple background is an easy way to add depth to any lesson plan design.

patterned lesson plan example

Preschool is an exciting time for learning. Shaping young minds is a rewarding experience, but it can sometimes feel like juggling too many balls at once.

With so many different essential key skills to teach, using a thorough Preschool lesson plan is important for making sure that your learners progress stays on track.

14. Break your Preschool lesson plans into learning sections

Preschool curriculums can be complex, covering multiple areas of crucial childhood development.

Hellp visualize each of these areas in their own right by creating a preschool lesson plan that takes a broad overview.

By breaking your lesson plan into learning sections, like this Preschool lesson plan example, you can get a glance at all elements of your students learning at once.

Preschool lelsson plan example yellow venngage

15. Get an overview of your week with a weekly lesson plan

A weekly lesson plan works great for preschool education planning, as it helps you identify and build lessons around common themes or goals. In the lesson plan template below, weeks have been broken down into different areas of focus.

Weekly preschool lesson plan example venngage

16. Use icons in your Preschool lesson plan

Using icons is a great way to communicate visually. Icons are easy to understand, especially when you’re skimming a document. 

Using icons in your preschool lesson plans, like this example. Not only do the icons help communicate the lesson themes, they also make the lesson plan example super engaging and fun.

preschool icon lesson plan example

Using icons can also be a great way to help students who struggle with non-visual learning. For more ways to improve your lesson accessibility, check out this guide to creating a Color Blind Friendly Palette .

When teaching Kindergarten can be hectic. We all know that meme “teaching Kindergarten is like using a blender without a lid”.

Staying organized is super important, and having thorough easy to follow Kindergarten lesson plans is one way to make sure your teaching stays on track. 

17. Use themes to help plan your Kindergarten lessons

Help your Kindergarteners embrace learning by using themes to plan their education. Themes are a great way to work through lots of different learning activities under one thematic umbrella.

This Kindergarten lesson plan example uses St Patrick’s Day as its thematic anchor, and bases Math, Art, Science, and more off of one common theme. 

Kindergarten theme day lesson plan example

18. Make your lesson plans easy to skim

We’ve all been in a spot when our mind goes blank, and we need to quickly refer back to our lesson plan. Especially if you’re interviewing or teaching in front of others.

By making your lesson plans easy to skim, you can quickly regain your train of thought and continue conducting a successful lesson.

In the sample lesson plan below the teacher has used simple blocks, checklists, and icons to help ensure their lesson plan is easy to understand at a glance.

Kindergarten lesson plan example simple

When creating Elementary school lesson plans, you need to make sure that you’re keeping a good overview of many different subjects at once. 

Having a clear, easy to understand Elementary lesson plan, like in the examples below, is really important for making sure that all your learning objectives are being met.

19. Break your elementary lesson plans into day and subject sections

Elementary students will often be studying various topics and subjects at once, and keeping an overview of this can  be difficult. By creating a weekly lesson plan you can make sure that your students stay on track. 

In this lesson plan template, subjects and activity have been split across the days, with simple summaries of each section within the lesson plan. 

Weekly Elementary lesson Plan Example

20. Include notes sections in your lesson plans

Planning a lesson is important, but reflecting on a lesson is essential. Too often it can be easy to get sucked up into the next lot of planning, but taking time out to properly assess how the lesson went is vital.

Adding notes sections to your lesson plans, like in this weekly lesson plan example, is a great way to remind yourself to evaluate as you go.

weekly lesson plan example with notes

Evaluating yourself and your lessons can be a daunting task. Applying various evaluation strategies, such as a SWOT Analysis , is an easy way to give your evaluations focus.

Middle School is a time for make or break for many learners. Skills that they learn in Middle School carry them through life, and it can be a huge weight to carry. But teaching Middle School can also be incredibly rewarding.

In your Middle School lesson plans, like in the templates and examples below, it’s important to focus on success and simplicity.

21. Make note of what success looks like in your lesson plan

In teaching quite often the end goal is not for the students to just arrive at the correct answer, but to understand the process of getting there. Having this mentality in your mind whilst lesson planning is an excellent way to ensure your students are learning effectively, and that your maximizing your teaching impact.

Add a section to your lesson plans as to what success looks like for you and your students like in the Middle School lesson plan template: 

Daily lesson plan template

22. Color code your lesson plan for ease of use

Colors can be a great differentiator in content, and color coding your lesson plans is a great way to make information pop. In this lesson plan example, each day has a different color which makes planning and evaluating much easier.

bright color lesson plan example

Related Reading: What Disney Villains Can Tell Us About Color Psychology

Lessons in High School are the ideal time to set your students up for lifelong success. Ensuring that your High School lesson plans account for success and reinforcing skills is one way to deliver the best education for your learners.

23. Include indicators of skill in your High School lesson plans

In High School, lessons plans tend to be more advanced. In the High School lesson plan example below, the teacher has included a section for indicators of skill. 

Indicators of skill are a great way to measure your students’ understanding of a topic, and can be used to help inform your planning and teaching. Add two or three skill indicators into your lesson plans to ensure you know how to identify which students may need additional support from you in teaching.

high school lesson plan examlpe

You can also scroll back to the Math lesson plans section for more ideas on high school lesson plan templates.

Remember how we mention you should include timelines in your lesson plan? Well, for a high school lesson plan, you can include a timeline template like this one to make sure your students understand all the dates required for their school project:

school project timeline template

eLearning , distance learning, remote learning, digital learning. Whatever you’re teaching, lessons that don’t take place in a classroom come with their own unique set of challenges. 

Engaging learners from behind a screen, or creating lessons that can exist outside of a traditional classroom environment can be difficult. But proper eLearning lesson plans can help you navigate non-traditional learning environments.

24. Break your eLearning lesson plan into activities or subjects

With so many people shifting to remote or digital learning keeping track of all of your separate subjects can be difficult. Creating an eLearning lesson plan that is broken into smaller chunks, with space for each topic, is an easy way to keep learning on track.

In this eLearning lesson plan example subjects are color coded and broken into small blocks.

elearning lesson plan example

For more examples of eLearning lesson plans, check out this post on course design templates .

Looking for more eLearning resources?

  • 7 Ways to use eLearning Infographics
  • Digital Learning Communication Resources  
  • What is an Infographic?
  • 10 Types of Visual Aids for Learning

25. Use a daily schedule when learning remotely

Learning remotely can be a big change for both teachers and students. One way to keep your learning on track is with an easy-to-follow daily schedule. Using a daily schedule as a lesson plan, like in the example below, is one way to maintain a routine during difficult times.

daily elearning lesson plan template

As well as scheduling within your lesson plan, you can also create a calendar to help keep your students on track.

26. Allow time for creativity and fun in your lesson plans

One of the biggest benefits of eLearning, Remote Learning , and Digital Learning is that you can stray from the confines of a traditional classroom. 

Giving students the opportunity to explore topics creatively can be one way to engage your learners in difficult times. Every student will have a different learning style , and by scheduling structured creative learning activities you can ensure that your entire class has the opportunity to thrive.

elearning daily lesson plan example

Sometimes simple is best—especially when it comes to lesson planning. When you’re panicked mid-teaching, having a simple and straightforward lesson plan that you can take a quick glance at it can be invaluable. 

27. Keep your lesson plan simple for stressful situations

When performing under pressure, staying simple is usually the best option. Using a clean and modern lesson plan design is one way to ensure that you can stay focused on what matters: teaching. 

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring, though. Using good design principles and following one or two graphic design trends means that your simple lesson plan template can still look smart.

simple lesson plan example

28. Use an icon to help differentiate different subject lesson plans

Icons are an easy way to differentiate your lesson plans by subject or topic. In the lesson plan example below, a large book icon has been used at the top of the page so that you can quickly see that this is an English lesson plan.

You could use an icon for each subject you teach, or use icons to tell a story . You could even replace the icon with a photo of your lesson materials!

yellow simple lesson plan example

29. Use an action plan approach in your lesson planning

In the simple lesson plan example, the tasks in the lesson plan have been labeled as an “action plan” . By keeping the lesson plan design simple, the focus is really on the content of the lesson plan.

Creating an action plan when teaching your lessons is a great mindset for creating engaging lessons and proactive teaching.

Action plan lesson plan example

1. Objectives: know your destination

When writing a lesson plan, start by outlining the learning objectives—what you want your students to take from the session and work backward. What do you want your students to learn? Be specific – “getting better at division” isn’t enough. Instead, try something like “Students will be able to divide three-digit numbers by two-digit numbers using the long division method.” By focusing on the end goal, you can plan activities that help your students have a successful lesson.

2. Welcome to the hook: make ’em want to learn

Start with an engaging “hook” to capture your students’ attention and make them eager to learn more. This could be a thought-provoking question, an interesting fact, or a surprising tidbit. For example, if you’re teaching about ancient Egypt, did you know that some pharaohs had their servants buried with them? That’ll get their attention!

Apply a top-down method: plan on a course level the lessons you’re going to include, and then go deeper and think about the activities you would like to include in each lesson.

3. Step-by-step: outlining the activities

Now that your students are hooked, it’s time to get down to business. Work on exercises or projects you would like your students to take on. These should serve two important purposes: allowing your students to apply the knowledge they learn in class and allowing you, the teacher, to assess students’ understanding of the materials.

This might include direct instruction (i.e., when you teach the material), guided practice (working together as a class), independent practice (students work on their own), and group activities.  Think about the best way to engage students and make sure you include a variety of these activities besides just tests or exams, like quizzes, group discussions, group projects and so on.

Example: If your objective is teaching persuasive writing, your steps might look like this:

  • Explanation of persuasive writing techniques and purpose
  • Guided practice: analyzing persuasive texts as a class
  • Independent practice: having students create a persuasive argument on a given topic
  • Group activity: Debating the different arguments in teams

Remember the old adage: “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” 

4. Check for understanding: keep ’em on track

It’s not uncommon for students to zone out (we’ve all been there), so it’s crucial to regularly check for understanding. This means asking questions throughout the lesson and encouraging your students to reflect on the material. Sneak in a pop quiz (boo) or use quick prompts like “show me a thumbs up if you get it, thumbs sideways if you’re unsure, and thumbs down if you’re lost.” It’s a great way to see who’s really paying attention.

Once you’ve got all these noted down, you can start arranging all the lessons and activities in a meaningful and logical order as well. This applies to the activities within a single lesson too. Answer these questions:

  • How much time do you have for the whole lesson?
  • What do you plan to start and end the lesson with?
  • How much time do you have for each activity?
  • If you still have time after all the activities are done, what are you planning to do?
  • If you run out of time, what activities are you planning to drop?

As you plan your lesson, keep in mind that not all students learn at the same pace and in the same way. Tailor your activities and materials to accommodate different learning styles, skill levels, and interests. This could mean offering choice in assignments, providing extra support for struggling learners, or challenging high-achievers with extended tasks.

To sum up: Use a lesson plan template to write an actionable and easy-to-follow lesson plan

Writing a lesson plan from scratch can be difficult, which is why Venngage has created tons of lesson plan templates you can edit easily. You can also draw inspiration from the different lesson plan examples in this post to customize your lesson plan template.

Simply create a Venngage account, pick the template you want and begin editing. It’s free to get started.


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    By Alice Corner, May 29, 2023 Lesson plans are the best way to deliver an effective and engaging lesson. Lesson plans also help keep you on track to ensure that your learners hit their goals and targets, in line with your course curriculum.

  21. How to Write an Engaging Lesson Plan (Plus a Printable Lesson Plan

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