How to Make a Lesson Plan for English Teachers?

how to make a lesson plan for English teachers

Published: February 15th, 2024

Good lesson plans take an artistic touch and a knowledgeable hand. It is an essential skill of any educator and takes a lot of practice to get right. Even though lesson plans will change from classroom to classroom, a solid underlying design and instructional framework can help you build dynamic and engaging learning experiences, no matter the subject.

For first-year teachers, they are a guiding light that will help them to find their feet in new classrooms. For seasoned professionals, they are a reliable base that keeps classes on course, even when there’s a storm ahead.

Although these plans are used for all subjects, we’ll be focusing on making lesson plans for English teachers (not ESL), but the tips to follow can be applied to any discipline.

What is a Lesson Plan?

For prospective or new teachers, a lesson plan is a roadmap and checklist for a specific lesson. They will help you to structure your topic and organize your teaching throughout the duration of the class. They outline what you’re going to be doing before, during, and after the lesson. Most importantly, they should act as a functional working document that your colleagues could pick up and use to teach in your absence.

Lesson plans usually include a clear objective for the lesson, time constraints, specific activities, the materials needed for those activities, the differentiation strategies you want to use, and the assessment measures.

There are many different templates and types of lesson plans, depending on the theoretical influences from schools of thought on education and the nature of the institution you’re working for. However, always be aware of what makes a good instructional design strategy, an understanding of the plethora of ways students engage with concepts, the goals of the students, and how methodology can help you reach those goals.

5 Essentials: Format of a Lesson Plan for English Teaching

Below, we’re going to go through a basic template for writing a lesson plan that you can use with any classroom of any age and size. After, we’re going to give you some useful tips and tricks to help you make your lesson plans as thoughtful and engaging as possible for your students.

1. Define Your Objective

Although it seems simple, defining your objective and the topic of the lesson (be it grammar, comprehension, or spelling) will help you focus your lesson activities on a clear goal. It can be useful to ask yourself periodically “why” you are choosing certain activities and how they’ll contribute to achieving your overall objective for the lesson.

One useful tip we recommend for thinking about your lesson objective(s) is to start with a Backward Design. This methodically consists of three stages and reframes how educators might usually think about creating a complete lesson plan.

In the first stage, you should identify your desired results. You then work backwards towards the second stage where you define what is acceptable evidence of those results. Finally, you take your final step backward to the third stage where you consider the learning activities that could lead you to your desired results.

The Backward Design is how we have structured the lesson plan in this post, but it’s not the only way to create one, with other methods being equally as valid.

2. Pick Your Assessment(s)

In line with the advice above, the next stage is picking the type of assessment that you’re going to use. For an English lesson, writing and repetition tend to be the more conventional way of assessing a classroom’s capacities post-lesson. However, unless these methods are genuinely challenging and engaging, your class is unlikely to be motivated to learn what you want them to.

If your classroom is equipped with a interactive display, you can be a lot more creative with your assessments. For example, determining whether your classroom has learned spelling and pronunciation from your lesson could be turned into an animated picture game, where children must associate the right sounds and spellings with the right images.

3. Choose Your Teaching Activity

Choosing your teaching activity isn’t as simple as it sounds. To begin with, it’s important to decide whether you think the topic covered is best practiced through group work or independent study. For many English teachers, both are important aspects of teaching children to read and write and can be used interchangeably throughout the duration of a lesson.

Next, you will need to consider if your classroom needs a warmup task or a quick review of the previous lesson’s content. Once this is determined, you can then move on to the fun part: designing the learning experience. Using a collaborative digital whiteboard to augment your teaching can make your English activities more dynamic and stimulating. Accessing previous passages from texts or grammar modules is quick and easy. You can even upload images of worksheets and passages, which can then be edited and used to test the students.

For example, a task such as choosing all the verbs and adjectives from a particular passage can be made more engaging with the Explain Everything’s broadcast function, which allows students to follow along on their own tablets.

4. Think About Timing and Order

Now you’ve got the essentials of your lesson plan, it’s time to think about the logistics. Consider carefully how much time your lesson ideas are going to take to realistically implement. Equally, be aware that you may have to pivot and differentiate if certain students aren’t able to engage with your teaching ideas. You should also consider the order you want your activities to be started in. 

Considering the above, it’s important to make allowances for changes and build in time to be flexible and accommodating. Concepts and explanations will be absorbed at different rates by different students, so timing is everything.

5. Consider the Materials You’ll Need

Finally, no lesson plan is complete without a list of the materials and their locations. All the equipment that you and your classroom need to learn should be clearly listed and accessible. Fortunately, with a smartboard, your teaching materials are stored all in one place and easily accessible to you, your students, and any teachers who may need to take over at a moment’s notice.

Effective and engaging Lesson Plans

In conclusion, crafting an effective lesson plan for English teachers requires a blend of artistry and expertise. Regardless of whether you are a novice educator seeking guidance or a seasoned professional refining your teaching strategies, a well-designed lesson plan serves as a valuable tool.

Learn how Explain Everything, now apart of Promethean, can help you create and deliver an engaging and effective lesson plan.

Book your free demo today!