6 tips to create an effective lesson plan

LessonUp in the classroom: 6 tips on how to create an effective lesson plan.

A great structured lesson is so important as you want to immediately grab and hold the attention of your students. LessonUp can help you with this. Here are six tips that can help you build and structure a lesson that is effective in both in-person or online classroom settings.

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1. Recognition through consistent structure

What we mean by this is that regular textbooks provide good structured content and also consistency in design. The layout of your lesson should have a similar feel where content and design are fitted to how your students work and learn. As you teach more lessons following a structure, students will begin to recognise how the material is presented and what the learning objectives are. You can do this by using the same font and size, but also consistent positioning of text, images and order of other components throughout out your lesson(s).

With LessonUp, you can create template slides and save them under 'Favorites'. This way you can easily use the same designed slides and build new lessons that will significantly impact the efficiency of your students' learning.

2. Learning objectives

Explaining your expectations in the form of a learning objective is crucial to a great and effective lesson. Your students will love you for the clear communication.

In LessonUp, you can indicate the learning objective(s) in so many ways with regular or interactive slides. These can be subject-related learning objectives or learning objectives that are more about the process and skills.

How the learning objectives are formulated is up to you, but we suggest presenting the learning objective from the student's perspective as it's more powerful: "You will...", or: "I will...".

3. Activate prior knowledge

Knowing your students' prior knowledge on a topic is great for you to then be able to track their progress and how they are digesting new material. You can activate prior knowledge by using LessonUp's interactive mind map. Students are able to enter answers on their devices, which appears hidden at first. Together, you and your students can go through each answer and drag similar responses into categories in the lesson. This allows you to immediately assess their prior knowledge and introduce new material altogether.

4. Add interactivity

Besides the mind map, LessonUp provides several interactive elements that you can use: quizzes, open-ended questions, interactive videos and drag and drop questions. Each one creates different interactivity, making your lesson more dynamic and fun. More importantly, they offer extensive opportunities to process the learning material for students and way for you to "assess as you go." For all of these elements, LessonUp allows students to screencast the activities and participate on their own devices.

5. Make lesson phases 

To help with creating structure in your lesson, introduce lesson phases to your slides to show the progress of the lesson. Although you may know exactly how many more slides you have left in a lesson, it’s not always clear to the students on how long the lesson is or how much more they have to learn. Show this in a subtle way by creating a series of icons as an Image (via the button: + component), so students can see at a glance what phase the lesson is in. This series consists of four phases:

What you already know
What you are learning now
Try on your own
Review

6. Provide an 'exit-ticket'

A learning objective is only effective if you review and discuss it at the end of the lesson with your students. Sometimes you'll find that your expectations do not always match those of your students. With an 'exit ticket', you give your students the opportunity to reflect on the lesson, both on the content and their own role and/or the knowledge gained. This brings the lesson back in full circle where the learning objectives are discussed again. Most importantly, you can also immediately know what is needed to be reviewed again for the next lesson.

To create a simple 'exit-ticket', you can use two open-ended questions at the end of the lesson:

"Write down three things you learned this lesson."

"Ask a question about topics in the lesson you don't understand yet."

New to LessonUp? Watch the video below on how to use the lesson editor and create your first interactive lesson in LessonUp. Houston, we have blast off! Happy teaching!

Written by Jan Wolter Smit - Head of Education, LessonUp