What Needs To Be In a Lesson Plan?
The key areas that a lesson needs to focus on are:
- What do you want your students to learn, and how do you want them to be changed by your lesson?
- How are they going to make that shift in knowledge, understanding, attitude etc?
- How will you measure when the lesson has been effective?
The basic structure of a lesson plan is pretty much the same as those produced with general planning methods. But teaching isn’t just about ramming facts into people’s heads. It’s about drawing them out into an attitude of curiosity and discovery in an environment that will foster their learning.
The Curriculum Mind Map
As per the general planning methods, you set out your goals in the center of your Mind Map. Now for a particular lesson, this will be the learning you want them to get from just this one lesson, but it is important that this is always in the context of the overall curriculum.
So let’s step back and have a look at the overall curriculum. Again, it can be easily mindmapped out into the main objectives and sub-objectives, and then down to individual lessons. So when you come to planning one specific lesson, you are taking a lesson from the curriculum plan and building it out to be a complete lesson plan.
The Lesson Mind Map
So the objective of that lesson within the curriculum becomes the goal of the lesson, and should have attached to it the exact things that you expect from your students at the end of the lesson – in other words, how do you know when you have achieved your goal?
You then break the goal down into the main objectives, which are the first level topics on your Mind Map. These are the individual skills or blocks of knowledge that you want them to have at the end of the lesson.
For each objective, create sub-topics to identify the tasks that they will do or the things that you will do in order to bring them to the learnings they need to get.
For the overall goal as well as each objective, it is also important to create topics as required to identify the prerequisites for that piece of learning. Where required, it can be useful to use this as a brief review with them before introducing the new material. This means that those previous ideas are fresh in their minds and give them a context for the new lessons.
Also, you should make a topic and as many sub-topics as required for identifying the resources you require in order to complete the lesson. This may include materials, people, equipment etc.
If you are preparing the lesson for someone else, it is useful to add a description of the lesson – perhaps as topic notes attached to the Mind Map title – explaining what the key objectives were, and if you have given the lesson, you can record a critical analysis of how well it went – what was good about it, what was bad, and what would you improve on next time?
You may also want to note a rating for the level of the cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning as per Bloom’s taxonomy, and also some ideas on follow on lessons either for enrichment or remediation.
When delivering the lesson, keep in mind the prerequisites and the current knowledge base that you are hooking this new understanding in to. Use this in the introduction of the topic.
Always use a Mind Map when delivering the lesson, as this will fully engage the students. NovaMind also has the unique ability to print out a Mind Map without the text on the topics so that they can fill in the topics in their own words. This means that they are getting the lesson aurally from you talking about it, visually from seeing the Mind Map, and kinesthetically from writing it, and it is using the language that they think of it in, so they will form the associations in their own minds naturally.
And if your students have NovaMind on their computers, you can provide them with a template with the basics there, and they can brainstorm new ideas to extend it in new ways, do research and drag images on from the Internet.
When presenting from a Mind Map, at the end of the lesson, you can go back around the innermost topics as a summary.
You can also base your assessment of whether the students have arrived at the intended destination by again focusing on the innermost topics, and making sure that the students have both learned and practiced the concepts presented in the lesson.
For Further Information
Please see the links in the text above. There are a wide range of topics covered in the Teacher’s Guide to Mind Mapping. Also there are a number of example Mind Maps to do with education in the Mind Map Gallery.