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Lesson Planning Guide


K – 12 teachers employ lesson planning to prepare professionally for teaching their students. This guide provides an overview of lesson plan formats. Teachers have less flexibility about what to teach as content standards drive curriculum, but there is considerable choice in how to teach. Matching lesson plan formats to the content is an important component of good teaching.

A professional prepared lesson plan is always preferred in all teaching scenarios.

  • Elementary Standard Lesson Plan

    Academic Standards

    List Colorado’s Academic State Standard(s) and any applicable national standards. What is it that you want the students to learn and remember about this lesson (weeks, months or years from now)?

    Specific Objectives to  Attain  Learning Goals

    What specific or behavioral objectives are you going to use to attain these academic standards? The objectives are written using measurable and observable verbs (i.e. “knowing”, “learning”, and “understanding” are vague unobservable, and not measurable.  Proper terms include: “describe”, “list”, “demonstrate”, etc…).

    Materials Needed

    List both those materials that you will need to have ready and those that students must bring to the class. List quantities per student or per group of students.   Include directions if preparing materials in advance is necessary to conduct the lesson.  All handouts must be attached to the lesson plan. 


    How will you facilitate the movement of students, distribution of materials, and formation of small groups? What other classroom management procedures will be utilized to maintain student engagement?  How will technology be employed?

    Motivational Techniques

    This is the springboard into your lesson. How will you set this lesson in motion? How will you access prior knowledge? Use past learning, everyday examples, or life skills to anchor your lesson. Consider effective use of open-ended questions along with questions that create cognitive dissonance.

    Procedures for Lesson

    List (numerically) the steps or progressions in a logical sequence.  Include steps used to transition student action or thoughts between parts of the lesson. How will key concepts/main ideas be developed by these procedures (i.e. vocabulary words, key questions, teacher modeling)? Consider the BEST procedures in order to maintain classroom management and active student engagement.


    What important points will you want to review at the end of the lesson? How will you conclude the lesson so that the students will integrate the newly learned information with the information they already knew about the topic? This provides the opportunity to check for student understanding.

    Homework/Assignments/Extension Activities

    Will you assign homework or a follow-up assignment? How will this assignment reinforce the lesson and help you assess student learning?  List activities that can be implemented without a great deal of preparation.  These activities become extensions:

    1. if your lesson finishes earlier than anticipated,
    2. if student groups finish early,
    3. if concept re-teaching is needed,
    4. or if student understanding, ability, and interest warrants more in-depth study.

    How will you show evidence of student learning related to this lesson’s stated objectives? What types of assessments did you use (e.g. diagnostic, formative, and summative)?  Do you have an assessment for each of the specific objectives listed?  Has an assessment tool, such as a rubric, checklist, or review sheet been designed to aid in evaluation?


    What are possible adaptations to accommodate the developmental needs of all students in the class? Consider individual leaning needs, such as visual, hearing, physical, mobility, attention, reading levels and others that may apply. Who are some resource people that can assist you in making adaptations?


    You must include all lesson plan websites, textbooks, literature, trade books, or resource books utilized in developing your lesson plan.  This should be cited in APA format.  Also include websites that can be utilized:

    1. for student reference to content knowledge,
    2. within the lesson to enhance the concept development,
    3. as a lesson extension,
    4. as a resource to encourage students to access independently on their own, or
    5. if it is valuable in developing teacher background knowledge on the topic.
  • Here are some appropriate Internet references for Lesson Planning: