Design A Lesson Plan Assignment

EdSe 3204 - General Instructional Methods Spring 2005: Dr. Helen Mongan-Rallis

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Lesson Plan 1 Assignment

Ideally this lesson plan should be done with 1-2 others from our EdSe 3204 class. You do not have to be in the same discipline. Your plan can be an interdisciplinary plan that incorporates elements of each of your subject areas or it may be from just one of your subject areas. If you work in groups, submit only one copy of the assignment with all of your names listed on this. See Checklist of assignment elements.


INTASC Standard 7- Planning Instruction:The teacher plans and manages instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.


Develop basic skills on lesson planning using the Understanding By Design (UBD) framework, content standards, & Internet resources.


  1. Plan using the Understanding By Design (UBD) framework
  2. Design lesson plans that are geared towards meeting content area standards
  3. Use Internet lesson planning resources as sources of lesson plan ideas
  4. Structure learning plans using the most common components of lesson plans


  1. Review the the Understanding By Design (UBD) framework and download the UBD blank template (use either the web based format in html or download the MS Word Template. You should develop your lesson plan using this framework as a template.
  2. Go to MN Department of Education standards web site and pick a portion of a standard from your subject area (if no state standards in your area, go to the national level and/or ask your cooperating teacher what standards s/he is assigned by the district). Place this standard in the template under "Content standard." (Example: Geography Grades 9-12 content standard C states, " The student will understand the regional distribution of the human population at local to global scales and its patterns of change."
  3. From the standards, determine desired results:
    • Understanding(s)/goals
    • Essential question(s)
    • What students should know and be able to do (objectives) [note: the Benchmarks for each content standard can be used as unit objectives, but you will typically develop other lesson objectives that go into more depth. Example of Benchmark 1 for Geog 9-12 Content Standard C is, " Students will describe the pattern of human population density in the United States and major regions of the world."]
  4. Identify what assessment evidence you will ask students to produce to demonstrate their achievement of the standards.
  5. Locate 2-3 lesson plans or learning activities on the Internet that you could use as resources for ideas in developing your own lesson plan. Print these and include at the end of your assignment.
  6. Outline the learning plan (teaching & learning activities). This plan should be aligned clearly with the desired results (ie: geared towards having students meet the objectives, answer the essential questions, and be able to complete the assessment activities). The plan should include all of the following components:
    • a. List of instructional materials & resources
    • b. Timeline: next to each step, indicate approximate length of time you expect each step to take.
    • c. Introductory activities: hook/capture student interest, set the stage, relate to previous learning (review), how this fits into what is to follow (preview), tell students what they will learn and be expected to do as a result of the lesson.
    • d. Developmental activities: outline the content and outline the instructional strategies & learning activities. Include details what you will do, how you will organize/prepare students for tasks, and what students will do. If you plan to involve students in discussion, list key/stem questions that you might ask to generate discussion.
    • e. Closing activities: list activities that you & students will do to summarize the lesson, reinforce what was covered, and tie everything together so students see how the lesson fits into the context of the rest of the course (what they have already done and what is coming next).

What you should turn in:

  1. UBD format as your framework: your plan should include all the parts contained within this template (i). desired results: content standard; understanding(s)/goals; essential question(s); lesson objectives (ii). assessment evidence (iii). learning plan with all parts a-e above.
  2. Three different Internet lesson plans or other resources that you have used in helping you prepare this lesson.
  3. I do need to have this assignment turned in as a paper copy, but you should be sure to have it electronically to put in your portfolio.

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By Monica Fuglei

When I was asked what my most important lesson learned as a teacher was, my reply focused on the idea of student engagement and ownership. No matter how well-prepared a teacher might be, I firmly believe that if a student is not engaged and does not take ownership of their education, they will not succeed.

While this might seem a bit fatalistic for a teacher to say, it hones in on one really important factor for educators: We must do what we can to make students care about what we’re teaching them.

Student-designed lesson plans: The Monument Regional High School pilot program

One great way to do that is to have students design their own lesson plans. In an age of frequent assessment and Common Core State Standards, the idea of handing off curriculum design to students might seem reckless. However, when students are active in the development of their learning, the process can become not only interesting, but inspirational.

In one pilot program at Monument Regional High School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a small group of students were given the opportunity to completely design one year of self-directed, peer-supported learning. The program was very successful and has been extended in the school.

Teachers outside the pilot program but within the school itself have adopted some of the self-direction seen in the program to allow students freedom of choice in developing and designing their own curricula. As a result of this spin on traditional education, students inside and outside of the pilot program report having a greater investment and sense of ownership in their education, which will hopefully stretch throughout their learning careers.

Strategies for helping students create their own lesson plans

Not every school, teacher, or student group possesses the desire or discipline to engage in fully self-directed learning. But embracing some student-designed lesson plans can really enhance investment in the education process, and more clearly communicate student needs and desires to their teachers and administrators. Here are some easy ways to include student design in lesson planning.

Have students choose their reading, topic or genre

In a literature classroom, allowing students to self-select their reading assignments individually, as a whole class, or in smaller reading groups, can really increase student investment in the literature and yield much more effective classroom discussions. When writing, students who are encouraged to choose their own research, writing topic, or even genre are more invested in the overall process. Adopting the peer community aspects of the Monument High School Program can encourage these students to work together in self-directed groups and help them develop essential skills like editing, reviewing and self discipline.

Engage students in meta-analysis with real life texts

One challenging aspect of literacy education means encouraging students to participate in meta-analysis of texts or websites. Having students bring a text to class or select, based on their interest, from a broad range of texts you provide gives them a chance to look at and analyze something they connect with, increasing the likelihood that they will find the practice engaging and transfer the skill to real-life situations.

Have students participate in rubric development

Often, as a first step in a unit, I will encourage my students to aid me in the development of our grading rubric or unit assessment. We examine a variety of rubrics or expectations and discuss the importance of each entry on the rubric, assigning points to each section as a class and drawing clear expectations for the assignment. Students engaged in this process have a deep understanding of the rubric/assessment and are thus highly likely to know what they need to learn during the unit. They are also not afraid to ask for clarification during the design process, making their knowledge of my expectations as an instructor even deeper.

Self-assessment and reflection techniques

The process of self-assessment and reflection on learning helps students identify personal strengths and weaknesses as well as set goals for future learning. If students are allowed the freedom of curriculum design, engaging them in self-assessment and reflection, particularly upon the core standards or benchmarks required by their school, district, or state standards, is an essential piece of the process that allows them to examine their level of mastery and set future goals for learning.

Monica Fuglei is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Omaha and a current faculty member of Arapahoe Community College in Colorado, where she teaches composition and creative writing.


Melissa Monti, No-Hands Teaching: Student-Created Lessons Based on Authentic Material, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Luba Vangelova, This is What a Student-Designed School Looks Like, KQED MindShift


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