Lesson Plan
Using the Lesson Design Template

Lesson Plan Info:

Lesson Plan - Using the Lesson Design Template


Using the Lesson Design Template


Carla Williamson: cljwilli@access.k12.wv.us 


Place the name of the content area here.

A lesson plan template for math can be found at http://wvde.state.wv.us/instruction/lesson-template.html.

Grade Level:

Fill in the appropriate grade level.

Essential Questions:

If you do not have purpose and you do not receive feedback, you cannot have confidence. Students need a clear focus of why they are doing what they are doing. This is best accomplished when teachers organize around inquiry. When we organize daily learning around a question and students receive feedback, the learning makes sense and the students have a clear goal. In other words, essential questions allow students to make meaning of their learning. Every unit design should target one or more essential questions, and every lesson within the unit should be designed to explore one of the essential questions for that unit.

Sponge Activity:

Teachers will often use Daily Oral Language, Mountain Language, Mountain Math, journal writing, the author’s suggested sponge activity, or an activity designed to address skill development related to a particular benchmark item. Keep in mind that sponge activities do not involve direct instruction from the classroom teacher. On the mathematics lesson plan template, this section is called the Launch or Introduction. Suggested time for sponge activity is 10 minutes.

Activating Prior Knowledge:

Before-literacy strategies activate prior knowledge so that students can scaffold to new knowledge. That is why powerful teachers build explicitly on their students‘ prior knowledge and experience. These strategies help students to create mental models so the abstract, printed word can have immediate meaning. They are the "hook" to get students interested in the lesson. Some examples would be viewing, developing or responding to videos, photographs, objects; role-playing; using graphic organizers, analyzing a book jacket; listening to a read aloud by the teacher; K-W-L to determine what students know, want to know and expect to learn before reading new text; direct reading/thinking activity. The suggested time to be set aside for the activation of prior knowledge is 15 minutes.

Vocabulary Development:

The effective vocabulary teacher builds a word-rich environment in which students are immersed in words for both incidental and intentional learning. This teacher also makes deliberate plans for words to be incorporated in listening, speaking, reading and writing vocabularies. The strategies used within each lesson not only teach vocabulary effectively, but also allow the teacher to model good word-learning behaviors for the students.

Research conducted in the past ten years reveals that vocabulary knowledge is the single most important factor contributing to reading comprehension. The larger the reader’s vocabulary, print or oral, the easier it is to make sense of text. Vocabulary instruction does lead to gains in comprehension, but methods must be appropriate to the age and ability of the reader. In its April 2000 report on the essential components of reading instruction, the U. S. National Reading Panel stressed that no single method of vocabulary instruction is most effective; instead, using a variety of methods leads to increased vocabulary learning.

If students are to develop their vocabularies, they must read extensively at both the independent and instructional levels. Students must receive direct instruction in word meaning, morphology, context clues and signal words, while engaged in diverse, interesting and fun activities. Systematic vocabulary instruction with repetition is powerful because it leads to imprinting. When repetition is not there, imprinting does not occur and the brain dumps the information. We believe that students will learn best through first-hand, purposeful and deliberate instruction, or explicit teaching. Some of the vocabulary development strategies that work well in the classroom are concept definition mapping, Frayer Model, pre-reading predictions, semantic feature analysis, semantic mapping, word sorts and Stephens Vocabulary Elaboration Strategy. The suggested amount of time to be devoted to vocabulary development activities is 15 minutes daily.

Skill Lesson Through Direct Instruction and Modeling:

While designing the unit, the author identified specific skills of which the student should demonstrate proficiency during the unit of study. This portion of the lesson targets those cited skills and involves direct instruction and modeling on the part of the teacher. The suggested time for this portion of the lesson is 10 minutes.

Active Literacy:

During-reading strategies deepen understanding during the learning process. It is critical that the teacher structure lessons so young teens will have time to work in groups. This practice helps students deepen and broaden their understanding of the subject matter. When students talk about the content, when they must explain it, they learn what they know as well as that of which they need to gain further knowledge.

Teachers may use concept models, questioning techniques, directed reading-thinking activities, two-column note taking, prediction, summarization strategies, sequence charts, story boards, role playing or think alouds to help the students become actively engaged in their reading while they are reading. It is important for teachers to model the strategies as they help students learn how to translate the concepts found in their reading into concrete formats that are easier for students to understand and remember. Active literacy is the heart of the lesson and should receive 30 minutes of the instructional time daily.  On the mathematics lesson template this section is called Investigate/Explore.

Post Literacy:

It is important that the teacher provide students with time to summarize, synthesize and analyze the day‘s learning. We strongly recommend that teachers focus on strategies that will develop students‘ summarization skills. Summarization, one of the top nine most effective teaching strategies identified by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering and Jane Pollock, is defined as "restating the essence of text or an experience in as few words as possible or in a new, yet efficient, manner." Teachers should keep in mind that summarization does not have to be done in writing. Summarization can be done orally, dramatically, artistically, visually, physically, musically, in groups or individually. Summarization is one of the most underused teaching techniques, but research demonstrates that it will result in some of the greatest gains in comprehension and long-term retention of information.

After reading the text, teachers must require students to summarize, synthesize and analyze what they have read. The teacher may have the students write a one-sentence summary of the reading, or use a graphic organizer to depict their concrete understandings of the reading. Some of the effective post-literacy strategies are group summarization, K-W-L, reciprocal teaching, SQ3R, semantic mapping, learning logs, RAFT, writing-to-learn, discussion web or creative debate. The suggested time for post-literacy is 5 minutes.  On the mathematics lesson template this section is called Summarize/Debrief the lesson.


We believe the teacher should reflect upon the performance of each student during the unit of study by asking these questions: Have all students mastered the content standards targeted for this unit of study? Is it necessary to re-teach a concept to some members of the class while others benefit from an exercise that enriches or extends their learning during the unit? Teachers should also cause students to reflect upon their learning during the unit of study by having them reflect on questions such as: What have I learned? Are there concepts or skills I believe I need to continue to work with? We often neglect reflection, this very important stage in the learning process. By taking time to reflect upon where our students are in their learning, we can design the next unit of study to better meet their identified needs. The suggested time for this often neglected, but powerful, aspect of learning is 5 minutes.


A list of the materials used in each day‘s lesson is helpful to the teacher. This is also the section where you will list any websites or other resources that a teacher might need to teach the lesson.


Give the approximate time that it will take to teach this lesson.  Focus on either 45-50 minutes or 90 minutes, as these are the usual class lengths.  If your lesson will cover multiple days, divide the lesson into what can reasonably be completed within the daily time allotted.

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