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Module 6: Developing a Lesson Plan

This module will provide you with basic ideas on how to prepare and develop a lesson plan.

What is a lesson plan?

A lesson plan provides you with a framework or structure to use when tutoring or teaching a lesson. A lesson plan focuses activities on learning goals or content standards. Your program coordinator may already have a variety of prepared lesson plans or may refer you to USCIS lesson plans. If you need to develop a lesson plan, review the ten basic steps below.

Why should I develop and use lesson plans?

Developing a lesson plan will help you decide how you will teach a lesson. You can set goals listing what you want to accomplish and identifying what content and activities to present. Using a lesson plan will help you teach in a planned and organized manner.

How much time does it take to develop a lesson plan?

As a general rule, plan for an hour to prepare for each hour of instruction. You may need more time to prepare a lesson if you are unfamiliar with the content. The amount of time you need will also depend on the learners’ skill level and the difficulty of the skills and knowledge needed to learn the content. The preparation time may decrease as you become more experienced with planning lessons.

How do I develop a lesson plan?

Here are some basic steps for developing a lesson plan:

  1. Get a pen and piece of paper and any materials you may need, such as a textbook if you are using a textbook.

  2. Write down the date, class level, and amount of time for the lesson.

  3. Determine the skills and content learners need to acquire. Make note of this information.

  4. Identify the goal for the lesson.

  5. Define the objectives you need to meet the goal.

  6. Determine how to measure whether the goal and objectives have been attained.

  7. Consider what materials you will need.

  8. Find activities that relate to the topic you plan to teach.

  9. Determine the time required for the overall lesson as well as for each activity.

  10. Plan more activities than you think you might need. Always plan additional activities because sometimes an activity does not take as long as you may have anticipated or there may be extra time at the end of class.

After you complete these steps, write down how you will present the lesson. Use the bullets below to guide you.

  • Start the lesson with an activity that introduces the topic to the learners.

  • Then, be sure to pre-teach new vocabulary learners will encounter during the lesson.

  • Next, try to make the content for the lesson as interesting as possible by incorporating several different activities for the learners to complete. The activities should allow learners to practice and acquire the new information.

  • Then, check to see if the learners understand the new material. You may need to go over the main points of the content that was covered.

  • Consider assigning homework on the content.

  • End the lesson by reviewing the content.

How do I know if the lesson plan worked?

Remember that a lesson plan is your guide to teaching a lesson. An important part of developing a lesson plan is assessing whether the lesson worked. Ask the following questions:

  1. Did you match the new information and supporting materials to the learners’ skill level? Did any of the learners struggle with the information? What could you have done differently?

  2. Did you use activities that matched the skill level of the learners? Did any of the learners have difficulty understanding or completing the activities? What could you have done differently?

  3. Did you plan enough activities for the lesson? Was there enough time for each activity? What could you have done differently?

  4. As you answer the questions listed above and other questions that arise as you assess the outcome of the lesson, make notes and incorporate the changes into the lesson plan.


This module was designed to provide you with information on how to prepare and develop a lesson plan. Make sure to plan more activities than you think you may need. Always assess the lesson and change your lesson plan based on your assessment.

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