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Guide to creating effective lesson plans
Lesson Overview  

The overview contextualizes a lesson plan within a larger dialogue by stating general goals. Goals determine purpose, aim, and rationale for what students will engage in during class time.

In planning your Lesson Overview ask yourself these questions:

What are the broader objectives, aims, or goals of the unit plan/curriculum?
What are your goals for this unit?
What do you expect students to be able to do by the end of this unit?

Learning Objectives  

A well constructed lesson plans clearly details a limited but well conceived number of objectives. Objectives will help you control the students' focus and their command of skills. The focuses of Learning Objectives is on what the student shall do to further knowledge and better or aquire skills.

In planning your learning objectives ask yourself these questions:

What will students do during this lesson?
What are the conditions that will allow students to achieve these objectives?
What is the criterion on the basis of which acceptable accomplishment of the objectives will be determined?
How will students show that they have understood the set objectives?

Prerequisites back to top

It is important to ascertain if the lesson plan requires any prerequisite.  Use this feature to double check with yourself if your students are ready for the level of complexity of the lesson plan you are outlining. By stating prereuisites, you will be able to factor in the lesson plan extra time that may be necessary for prep work, as not all students may satisfy the prerquisites.

In planning your learning objectives ask yourself these questions:

What skills must students already possess before engaging into this lesson?
Are there any concepts that have to be familiar to the students beforehand to carry out the lesson objectives?
Is there any prior specific background knowledge that students must posess beforehand?

Materials & Resources  

List all necessary materials and/or resources, including full citations of textbooks or books used, worksheets, etc. If students are responsible for materials that are not available in the classroom, make sure it is understood by everybody that they have the responsibility to bring such materials to class.

In this curriculum, a single web address will be given to the students to access all the online material needed during phase one and phase two. Do no assume that students will retain this information from the beginning of semester. This web address should be provided to them each time a new project is began.

Lesson Steps (Activities / Procedure)  

The lesson steps carefully illustrate each stage in the progression of the project/s by providing a detailed, step-by-step description of how to achieve lesson plan objectives.  Include critical questions that will help students understand how to execute the project/s.

Critical Questions back to top

At this age students have the intellectual ability to discuss a work of art at many levels: whether it is formal elements, history and cultural context, or intended or projected meaning, significance within a larger discourse, etc. Nonetheless, the biggest obstacle a teacher will encounter in engaging in in-class roundtable during work critiques and progress assessments will more like be the fact that students are exceedingly susceptible to peer criticism and are frequently exceptionally reluctant to speak out in a group when they feel that peer judgment is impending upon them. This being particularly true when discussing questions that require speculation and assumptions, which do not have a single correct answer.

A list of questions that directly relate to the objectives provides a sense of guidance and ease the student from the burden of having to initiate a conversation, say the right thing or make the proper remark. Think of these questions as student guidelines into a deeper understanding of art and art making.

Assessment Criteria (Evaluation)  

Develop a standard set of criteria that will help you evaluate if the students have achieved the learning objectives.  Each criterion should describe the expected results on a hierarchical scale from basic skill to advanced critical thinking.  The assessment criteria should be easily measurable and independent from the specific caracteristics of any given project/unit.

Ask yourself these questions:

How will you evaluate the objectives that were identified?
Have students practiced what you are asking them to do for evaluation?

You will need to gather some evidence that students accomplished what expected by the lesson plan. Tipically his is done by collecting students' work and assessing it using a grading rubric based on lesson objectives. Additionally, you could quiz students on concepts and problems that have been addressed by the lesson plan.

Be sure to give students the opportunity to practice what you will be assessing them on.

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