There are many different types of lesson plans and designs out there. Depending on what your district or prinicpal requires from you, your design may vary. The important components of lesson design include strategic goals and objectives, state or national standards for learning, essential questions, hooks (anticipatory sets or sponge activities), engaging learning activites and exploration of content, modeling and guided practice, independent practice, clear directions and procedures, and closure. Below are some things to help you design engaging learning experiences for your students; but, no matter what, please rememer this:

IF, as a teacher,
  • I present the same lesson in the same manner that I have used it in the past;
  • I seek no feedback from my students;
  • I do not analyze and evaluate their work in a manner that changes my own emphasis, repertoire, and timing;
  • I do not visit or observe other adults as they teach;
  • I do not share the work of my students with colleagues for feeback, suggestions, and critiques;
  • I do not visit other schools or attend particular workshops or seminars or read professional literature on aspects of my teaching;
  • I do not welcome visitors with experience and expertise to observe and provide feedback to me on my classroom practice;
  • I have no yearly individualized professional development plan focused on classroom changes to improve student learning; and finally,
  • I have no systemic evaluation of my teaching tied to individual, grade/department, and schoolwide goals;

Then I have absolutely no way to become better as a teacher.

This piece appears in Carl Glickman's book Leadership for Learning: How to Help Teachers Succeed. He also provides a solution. "How do teaching and learning improve? The answer is no mystery. It’s as simple as this: I cannot improve my craft in isolation from others" (p. 4).

  • Glickman, C. (2002). Leadership for learning: How to help teachers succeed. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Here are those resources for you:

Hook Activity "Alligator River"

for other hooks

from WNY Education Associates

activity directions by me, based on the work of Tony Buzan
student handout

Lesson Plan Templates

For Lesson Plan Ideas, there are a TON of websites out there. The trick is to borrow ideas from others, but to make the lesson plans your own by tweaking them to fit your teaching style and personality and, of course, your students' abilities and learning styles. Below are just a few of the many good sites out there to inspire you. Please remember, that I am a former English teacher, so some sites are ELA specific.

Don't forget this site for interactive lesson ideas
Cool Teaching Lessons
Dr. G's Lesson Plans for Literature
Shmoop an AWESOME website with nearly every book title you could think of, but also History and Poetry ideas as well
Education World
High School Literature
Lesson Plans for teachers