If you are a science teacher then finding prepared lesson plans can be a real time saver. With so many lesson plans available online, how do you ensure that the school teaching resources you download are of a high standard? In this article we'll show you some reliable places to obtain free teaching plans and what to look for.
What makes a good lesson plan?
In recent years, many teaching training institutions suggest that a three part lesson plan is the best approach. This consists of: Starter This is a short activity at the beginning of the lesson which engages students and sets the tone for the rest of the session. It does not always have to be linked to the main lesson content and could be something as abstract as optical illusions to get both halves of the brain working. Main This is where the main learning objectives are delivered. This should be done through a variety of learning methods which address different learning styles. There should be regular questioning and activities for students to explore the knowledge themselves. Plenary This is the final stage of the lesson which draws together the learning. Teachers should refer back to the learning objectives at the beginning of the lesson. This can be done through questioning or learning games. This is not the only approach and lesson plans that have many cycles of "starter-main-plenary" within a single lesson are now becoming popular.
Finding online lesson plans
If you are a new teacher or supply teacher then ask your head of department for teaching lessons and materials. Often these have been prepared as part of a scheme of work that you will be teaching.
If you are teaching a new topic then there are many websites for teachers that allow you to download prepared lesson plans:
The Times Educational Supplement website. Upon registering you can access lessons plans that have been uploaded by the teaching community. There are resources for teachers of secondary school and primary teachers. SkillSchool.org
This is a subscription site that many schools sign up to. Ask your head of department about a SkillSchool subscription to receive lesson plans and interactive SCORM quizzes that mark themselves! Teachers.guardian.co.uk
similar to the TES but not as well established. Resources can be sorted by age group, learning objectives and subject. Remember you will want to customise any lesson plans which you download from the internet to take into account of any special educational needs in your class and to cover and specific key words and learning objectives outlined in your scheme of work or program of study.