The lesson plan is the key component to effective instruction in the classroom. Studies have shown that teachers who are well prepared with exciting and interesting lesson plans deal with far fewer behavior issues in their classrooms. That is why it is so important for you to learn the basics of designing a lesson plan. To begin, use the following list to choose a grade level and core content area for which you would like to develop a lesson plan. It would be wise to create your plan for the age level and content area you are currently teaching or planning to teach. You may not use a lesson plan you have created for another course for this Unit Plan: Lesson Plan Assignment.


Elementary (K–5)Middle School (6–8)High School (9–12)
Social StudiesSocial StudiesSocial Studies

After you have selected your grade level and subject area, you will need to consult the Virginia State Department of Education’s website to locate the state standards for your particular grade and subject area (see Resources section).

Once you have located the standards for the grade level and subject area for your plan, choose one around which you want to develop your lesson plan. Keep in mind that this is a single lesson plan, not an entire unit, so you will have to narrow down your topic to one that can easily be taught in a single lesson. For example, if you want to cover addition for Kindergarten, you will narrow that to one specific concept of addition that is to be taught to kindergarteners.

Complete your Unit Plan: Lesson Plan Assignment using the provided Unit Plan: Lesson Plan Template document.

  • Name: You must put your first and last name on the lesson plan so it can be easily identified by the instructor.
  • Grade/Subject: You will identify what grade level and subject area is the focus for your lesson plan (e.g., 3rd-grade science).
  • Topic: You will choose a specific topic within your grade/subject area that your state standards require you to teach (e.g., addition in math, nouns in grammar, plants in science, Mexico in geography, comprehension in reading, etc.).
  • Lesson Subtopic: Narrow down your specific topic to one particular concept on which your lesson plan will focus. For example, if you choose addition in math for first grade, you will further narrow that to a specific concept of addition that is taught to first graders, like double digits; addition within 10; or adding two-digit numbers. Remember, this needs to be very focused and must be covered in the standards for your grade and subject area.
  • State Standard and Common Core Standard: You will need to identify which state standard aligns with the grade, subject, topic, and subtopic you have chosen. Provide the following information: a working link your instructor can open to check the VA standard and Common Core standard with the verbatim wording of the standard for each (e.g., VA SOL 1.5 “The student will recall basic addition facts with sums to 18 or less and the corresponding subtraction facts.” (Common Core link found in Resources section.)

Objective: Create a learning objective to go with the topic, subtopic, and standard you have chosen. The learning objective must contain a condition, a performance/practice, and a criterion (CPC).

In order to successfully complete this stage, you will need to do the following:

  • Identify a specific condition (a tool that you will give the students to complete the performance.) For example, “Given a list of 10 double-digit addition problems…”
  • Identify a measurable performance (identify, list, recite, draw, etc.) that you want your students to be able to complete when the lesson is over. For example, “…each student will be able to solve…”
  • Identify a criterion (an acceptable level of performance). For example, “….9/10 of the double-digit problems correctly.”

Here is a helpful template you can use: “Given ____________, each student will be able to _____________ ___/___times correctly.” (Note: This should be one simple and concise sentence.)

Your objective should be written to match the Summative Assessment at the end of the Lesson Plan.

Biblical Integration

Now that you have created an objective for your subtopic, consider how to integrate biblical or character principles into your lesson. Find Scripture verses/principles or character principles that relate to your subtopics. Be sure to explain how the verse or character principle you chose specifically fits in with the lesson and how it relates to your students. In other words, how are you going to connect the principle with the rest of the lesson, so the students have a better understanding of God and who He is? The point of this section is to be creative and to include the opportunity to reinforce biblical values and moral character into daily lessons. For example, if you are teaching a lesson on money, you can bring out Scripture verses that teach how important it is to handle our money in a way that is honoring to the Lord. You can emphasize honesty, tithing, saving, borrowing, and lending, etc., using different Scripture references. For this stage, fill in only the Character/Biblical Principal section on the lesson plan.


The next section to complete on your Unit Plan: Lesson Plan Template is the procedures section.

You will be filling in the procedures section of the Unit Plan: Lesson Plan Template. This is the main part of your lesson plan and should be the most detailed. This is where you are going to discuss how you will teach the lesson using each of the procedures listed. Here are some guidelines for each section:

  • Anticipatory Set: The anticipatory set is to be a very brief activity that gains the attention of the students. It may be a book, a song, a poem, a short news article, etc., that catches the attention of your students and sparks an interest in the topic of the lesson. This will be no more than 5 minutes.
  • Instruction: This is the direct instruction portion of your lesson plan and must, therefore, be the most detailed. Use numbers or bullets to write out step-by-step what you will actually teach the students about this topic. Only include the steps of how you will teach the lesson in this section. PowerPoint presentations, interactive notebooks, graphic organizers, SmartBoard presentations, etc., are all acceptable things to use to help teach your lesson. However, this is not the place to include instructions for completing activities used in your guided or independent practice. The time spent on this section will vary depending on the grade level for which the plan is designed.
  • Guided Practice: In this section, students will practice as a group or small groups what has been taught in the instruction section. You will give immediate feedback to allow students to self-correct if necessary. Depending on the time frame of your activity, you may be able to complete 2 or 3 guided practice activities before you have the students complete the independent practice. The time spent on this section will vary depending on the grade level for which the plan is designed.
  • Independent Practice: The Independent Practice is designed to allow the students to practice without the help of their peers. The teacher can still walk around and assist students with this activity.  (Note that this should not be a group activity, nor should it be a repeat of the Guided Practice.) This assignment must be completed in class and before the Closure. This assignment can’t be used as the Summative Assessment.
  • Closure: How will you tie your lesson together and bring it to a close? This will be a short summary/review of the material taught in the lesson. This section will take only a few minutes.
  • Summative Assessment: This section should include your assessment. The assessment should match the objective that you wrote at the beginning of the lesson plan. Students should complete the assessment on their own. The results from the Summative Assessment provides information to the teacher and helps determine whether the lesson was mastered, needs to be retaught, or whether individual students may need additional help. These results will guide future planning.

Materials & Technology

  • Materials: Continue to correct any mistakes within the Lesson Plan and highlight them in yellow so they are easy to identify. Then, fill in your Materials and Technology sections. First, decide what materials you are going to need to teach your lesson; list them in the space provided. Beside each material listed, give a brief explanation of how that material is to be used within the lesson.
  • Technology: Next, you will be adding various technology options to the lesson. This section would include the use of computers, SmartBoards, overhead projectors, video, or audio clips, etc. Again, there is a lot of technology available to use if you are willing to search for it; be creative and diverse with your technology integration. Explain how you would incorporate the technology you chose into the lesson, and explain how the technology will benefit the teacher, the students, and the lesson itself. Be sure to include viable links for any websites, online video or audio clips, games, etc., that you find on the Internet.

Diversity/Differentiation (This is included in the Unit Plan: Differentiation Template)

  • Diversity/Differentiation: Think about how you are going to differentiate your lesson to meet the needs of all learners in your classroom (this includes physical and learning disabilities, behavior disorders, gifted students, and ESL students, as well as the different learning modalities: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic). Explain how you will modify your instruction, activities, or assignments to meet the needs of each type of learner. (Do not depend on having aids or tutors to help you). Be specific in the description of your differentiation so it is clear why you are doing this and how it will benefit each learner. Follow the tips below for each type of learner:
  • Gifted: Gifted students resent having more work to do just because they understand the concepts more readily. Instead, try giving them an alternate activity/assignment that is more challenging and allows them to reach higher-order thinking skills.
  • LEP: These students typically have language barriers. Think about how you can adjust your instruction, activities, or assignments to better help them understand.
  • LD, ED, ADD: Many times, students in this group are dealing with behavior issues. How can you align your instruction, activities, or assignments to best meet their needs?
  • Multicultural Connections: The students in your class will most likely represent more than one culture. How can your lesson, activities, or assignments help include the value of all cultures?
  • Learning Styles (Auditory, Visual, Kinesthetic): Each one of these has specific needs. Think through what you could modify in your lesson to accommodate them.
  • Multiple Intelligences: How will you modify your instruction, activities, or assignments to best enhance these important areas?

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