How to Plan Lessons Like a Pro: An Easy Step-by-Step Guide for Teachers?

Lesson planning is the bedrock of effective teaching. A good lesson plan acts as the instructor’s roadmap, outlining what students need to learn and how it will be taught effectively to enable learning. This article will provide an easy step-by-step guide to help both experienced and trainee teachers plan lessons efficiently.

Planning lessons effectively can help you save time, improve your teaching practices, and have better learning outcomes. With a streamlined process, you can reduce time spent planning and focus more on delivery. Structured plans also help with lesson observations, allowing observers to clearly see your objectives and how learning activities align. Read on for tips and strategies to level up your lesson planning.

Why Write Lesson Plans?

Lesson plans outline the knowledge and skills you want students to learn. They map out learning activities to enable understanding, opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, and checks for understanding. This means that writing a lesson plan can help you:

  • Identify lesson objectives clearly
  • Design effective learning activities
  • Sequence activities logically
  • Pace the lesson appropriately
  • Assess learning effectively

Structuring lessons this way provides a meaningful learning experience centred around what students should gain. It also allows you to evaluate if learning outcomes were achieved.

Step 1: Identify the Learning Objectives

Learning objectives describe what students will be able to know or do by the end of the lesson. These link to curriculum goals and form the basis for assessments.

To write objectives effectively, complete this sentence:

By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to…

For example:

  • By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to identify properties of triangles.
  • By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to add fractions with different denominators.

Learning objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Step 2: Plan the Learning Activities

With clear goals defined, the next stage is planning learning activities to enable students to achieve them. Consider:

  • An engaging starter activity to introduce concepts
  • Instructional activities for new material
  • Guided and independent practice questions
  • Opportunities for discussion/analysis
  • A plenary to summarise key learnings

Learning activities should align to objectives, incorporating appropriate challenge and support. Build in variation – group work, written tasks, discussion etc.

Also plan checks for understanding, like mini whiteboard questions, to assess learning throughout and adapt if needed.

Step 3: Structure the Plan

With the components mapped out, structure these effectively:


  • Overview goals for students
  • Connect to prior learning
  • Engage interest through a short activity

Main Section

  • Teach key concepts/skills
  • Include levelled questions for support/challenge
  • Discussion tasks to consolidate learning
  • Check for understanding


  • Review what’s been learned
  • Reflect on wider applications
  • Extend thinking with an exit question

Step 4: Prepare Resources

Lesson resources supplement activities and instructions:

  • Presentation slides
  • Worksheets/textbook excerpts
  • Mini whiteboards
  • Physical learning aids
  • Audio/visual content

Prepare these ahead where possible to save lesson time.

Top Tips for Great Lesson Plans

Follow these tips for effective lesson planning:

  • Check national curriculum guidelines – Ensure alignment for age-appropriateness and proper sequencing.
  • Vary activity types – Use visual, written and discussion tasks to suit different learning needs.
  • Link ideas logically – Connect instructions and tasks to learning objectives for flow.
  • Build in assessment – Plan checks for understanding to gauge and adapt.
  • Leave time for reflection – Ask students to summarise key learnings.
  • Keep refining – Update plans after teaching the lesson to improve experience.

The key is balancing preparation with adaptability. Well-structured plans provide guidance while leaving room to respond to students’ needs.

With an effective planning process, you can create engaging, productive learning experiences. For any other questions on planning wonderful lessons, contact our team for tailored teacher training and support.

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