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Do you use a lesson plan template?

Hello colleagues, Lesson planning is, of course, an essential component of teaching. I'm wondering about the lesson planning process that adult ESL teachers engage in.  Do you use a lesson plan template? Does your program require teachers to use a specific template? What do you consider to be the essential components of a lesson plan?

Here's a link to an infographic that outlines the components of a well known lesson plan template from Madeline Hunter. Hunter's lesson plan template was designed for K12. How well does this lesson plan template align with your thoughts about the important components of a lesson plan in adult ESL?

Thanks for sharing your lesson planning practices!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition

Comments

Betty Osako's picture
First

We are not required to use/submit a lesson plan template at McKinley Community School for Adults. Madeline Hunter’s lesson template is wonderful. Unfortunately, my students are literacy level students and I do not speak any of their languages nor do they speak/understand much English. Most of the students can write their ABCs but some of them have not mastered the alphabet perfectly or may not be able to match the corresponding sound of the letter to the letter itself. Trying to explain in English what I am trying to do so that the students can understand is not an option (Step 2 in Hunter’s lesson planning objective and purpose). On the first night of class, I usually start with our school brochure (Step 1 anticipatory set) and go over the front of it. I read, they repeat. I write a short paragraph based on that information, they copy it into their notebooks and we read it together then, repeat. If any administrator happens to walk past our classroom, I invite him/her to come in so that s/he can be introduced to the students. Next, we practice a variety of introductions. We practice the dialogue written on the board then the students copy and practice it. I add more information or put a spin on the introduction then, they practice it. After the first few days and certainly by the second week, the students are exposed to the different kinds of activities they will be doing for the rest of the semester. I try to set a pattern/rhythm so the students feel comfortable. Units are 2 weeks long. We spend the first Monday and Tuesday introducing the topic and the second Monday and Tuesday reviewing or introducing something related to the topic. Every Wednesday, we introduce a new song. Every Thursday, we introduce a new story. There are other repeating components as well. As much as possible, I follow steps 3 through 8 in the order Hunter presents for each lesson. 

As much as possible, I try to present practical lessons which can be immediately useful. If applicable, I also do my best to give examples as to how the lesson or parts of it can be used in different contexts.

Susan Finn Miller's picture
One hundred

Hi Betty, Thank you for sharing how you approach teaching your literacy level class. Building on routines the way you describe is so essential with any group of language learners, but especially with those at the beginning literacy level. As you say, routines help students to feel comfortable since they know what to expect. I believe learners need to feel safe and secure in order to take the risks necessary for learning.

Following a lesson plan such as Madeline's Hunter's -- even when we may not be able to apply each step in the same way with a lower level class -- can support teachers to develop the kind of routines you have put in place.

It would be great to hear from other teachers about their process of lesson planning. Please share any tools that you have found useful, too.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition

 

townbird37's picture
First

I teach English to adults in a small community program.  I use a lesson plan grid format that I found some years ago that is based on the questions What?, Why (what will the students have accomplished)?, and How

I also use color codes for skills to remind myself to build variety into each lesson.   

Susan Finn Miller's picture
One hundred

Hi Marian, Thank you for jumping in to the conversation about lesson planning. Your approach which outlines what, why and how seems quite useful. We all need to be sure we are able to say "why" we are engaging students in certain activities. I'm curious about the color coding you use. Could you say more about that?

It would be great to hear from other members about their lesson planning process.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition

townbird37's picture
First

There's a two-part system to the color-coding.  The first part assigns a different color to different purposes for the activity -- for example, purple when they are drawing from their own experience, bright red for grammar, light green for literacy, orange-red for everyday activities, orange-gold for pronunciation.  There are other colors for other purposes -- it may be hard to visualize, but I don't know how to attach an example here.  

Then there's a four-cell area that shows how much an activity calls on each of the four skills -- listening (orange), speaking (green), reading (blue), writing (yellow) -- plus critical thinking (pink).

It's not at all scientific, but I can easily see if I'm emphasizing one skill at the expense of others.  I hope that including a variety of skills and purposes helps students with different learning styles.  And besides, it makes my lesson plans colorful!

PioPico's picture
First

Hello, my name is Theresa. I generally use the good old PPP (Present, Practice, Produce) lesson planning. I am currently teaching a prep-class for naturalization interview and test but I still base my instruction on PPP. The presenting part can be anything but written English (with pics) seem to be the best for the adult English learners since most of them can read. Then, corresponding to what I am focusing on teaching (vocabulary, sentence patter, etc...), I would have them practice using it in pre-written sentence drills (writing and speaking) or worksheets until they understand and get some what comfortable with it. Then finally have them produce on their own sentence(s) in both written and spoken. I think PPP is quick and simple structure to follow