What makes a great lesson plan?


Every teacher knows the importance of creating a good lesson plan. If you’re in the process of completing your Bachelor of Education, you’ll soon cover how to construct such plans as part of your learning material. This is important for your days spent in front of a class for a number of reasons:

  • Effective lesson plans allow for better learning
  • They use time more wisely
  • Students are often more engaged in a structured lesson

Before you get to put that Bachelor of Education to good use as a teacher, here’s what makes a great lesson plan.

Start with the basics

It’s important to consider what your students might know prior to the lesson you are planning. This will limit any unnecessary repetition that could waste precious classroom time. Consider the information that preceded the lesson you’re currently planning and look for ways to link it to the new concepts about to be taught. This will help them draw parallels between all the knowledge they’re taking in.

The next thing to do is tie the lesson into today’s culture. Your class will be more likely to resonate and engage with the information when it is something they see as relevant. Using mixed media is a good way to do this through videos, podcasts and even online articles. This will also trigger their own curiosity and inspire some research when they are at home. As a result, the learning will continue long after they’ve left your class, a dream for anyone with a teaching degree.

Asking questions is another key part of a successful lesson plan. This means avoiding “yes” or “no” questions in favour of higher-level ones that require some real thought from your students. Questions like these require reflection from learners, which helps further drive important learning concepts. A good way to do this is a classroom discussion in which each student can share what they think. Alternatively, some pupils might prefer to write down their thoughts on the matter.

Like many other things associated with planning, timing is everything. When putting a lesson plan together, teachers should allocate enough time for each lesson and all of its components. This will leave enough room for student questions and even some reflection thereafter. A teacher who is rushing will impact her learners negatively and as a result, will make the lesson less meaningful.

At The IIE’s Varsity College a range of IIE teaching qualifications prepare aspiring educators for the challenges that come with the territory. Thanks to our New World thinking, every graduate leaves armed with the critical thinking and problem solving skills they need to make a difference in the minds of young learners. As an added benefit, many of our lectures were once respected educators themselves. This places them in the perfect position to guide our candidates through everything they need to be successful and impactful teachers one day. To find out more about the popular IIE B.Ed in Intermediate Phase Teaching and what it consists of, please click here.

Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). South Africa’s leading private higher education provider that’s registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training, and accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).

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