Whether you’re the Vice President writing for the MEP, a brother writing a CMEP, or a future educator taking education courses, writing lesson plans is vital to your success. My lesson writing process consists of four steps: Plan, Prepare, Engage, Ignite.
When I sit down to start writing a lesson plan, the only things I have with me are a pen and paper (and maybe a laptop for the times when you need a little inspiration). Allowing yourself to sit down with just a pen and paper gives you the opportunity to use your imagination to create your lesson plan instead of relying on someone else’s ideas. Write down every detail you can think of. Ever aspect of your lesson plan should be written down on that paper. Start with your objective for the end of the lesson; when the lesson is over, what do you want the people you’re teaching to know? Is it a strictly fact-based lesson, or is there an ideal or purpose that you want them to understand? That should be the guide for your lesson. If your objective is fact-based you may want to consider making a game or an activity to go along with it because let’s be honest, no one likes to be lectured at for an hour. Take time to think about what would engage you. If you’re bored teaching the lesson, the people you’re teaching will be bored too. If you enjoy writing songs, write a song to teach the topic. The planning stage is all about basically word-vomiting everything you could possibly think of that has anything to do with you lesson, onto a piece of paper.
This is where it starts to get hands-on. The preparation stage is where you type out and finalize your lesson plan, and make your activities/games. Take your pages of notes from the planning stage and decide which parts of it will actually be useful to you for your lesson, then type it out. A lesson should have in introduction, explanation, exploration, and conclusion. In a lesson for the MEP, it’s always helpful for your introduction to have some sort of get-to-know-you aspect. For a CMEP or a regular lesson plan, just something saying who you are and what the lesson is about is good for an introduction. The explanation is where you are telling them about what it is that you want them to know. This is just relaying the information. This could last 2 minutes or an hour, there’s no time limit; it really depends on what you feel needs to be covered and how. Exploration is where the students/MEC’s/brothers get to be hands-on and think about or participate in some sort of game or activity that has to do with what you just explained. This, again, doesn’t have a time limit and can be as simple as writing a reflection on what was just taught, to playing an elaborate game that you made up. The conclusion is where you all come back together as a group and discuss the lesson. The preparation stage is also where you purchase or make any necessary supplies to carry out your lesson.
This is the stage where your peers/friends/chapter presidents come in. By the time you get to this stage, you have a complete lesson plan typed out and ready. By this stage you’ve already got your games and activities planned, but now is the time to try them. Then try your activity again but this time grab a friend and ask them to do the activity/game after you explain it to them. This is such an important piece of lesson planning, because you need to know for sure that your game/activity makes sense to someone that’s not you. If it’s for your MEP, it’s a great idea to send your lesson plans to your chapter president – it’s great for them to know what you’re planning on doing during your lessons and they’ll be able to offer you feedback. Make sure you try every game or lesson at least once and that you have at least one other person read over your lesson plan.
This stage is the most fun and also the most terrifying. This is where you get to teach your lesson! Yay!! There’s nothing more fulfilling than premiering something that you’ve worked tirelessly on, to ears that can’t wait to hear it. Just breathe and be confident, you’ve got this! Remember, your lesson isn’t always going to go exactly the way you typed it out. Just go with it! Things happen, people get distracted. That’s just life. Just do your best and get the lesson across. As long as the objective is achieved, your lesson will be successful! Ignite the passion that’s inside every student or future brother. The spark that you create inside potential brothers will carry them through their time in your chapter. Be yourself, and show them how much this organization means to you.
Author: Rebekah May
President, Kappa Kappa Psi – Delta Upsilon
Senior, Elementary Social Studies Education
Eastern Michigan University
Do you have a lesson planning tip to share? Leave it in the comment section below! And as always, if you’re interested in writing for the NCD Blog, contact Abigail Johnson at [email protected]