Designing Effective Lesson Plans

Backwards Mapping Approach

Elements of Effective Lesson Design

- Adequate Research- this allows you to gather the most knowledge possible to incorporate into your own design.

- Develop clear learning objectives- the easier your material is to cognitively understand the better the chance of retention of the material learned. Be cognizant of your state's core standards. This is what you should base your lesson plans around.

- Clarity, completeness, and specificity are needed to drive the rest of the lesson plan design. (Newman, 2013).

Learning Objectives

Good learning objectives are critical to planning effective instruction. This instruction will lead to the students being adequately prepare to test as higher levels. The more challenging the objective, the more in depth level of cognitive process. This will drive the students to put forth more effort and in return the more information from each lesson will be retained. According to the text. 'In review, Bloom's taxonomy is a well-known framework for thinking that has six levels. The ideal is to challenge your students with higher-level learning objectives, questions, and assessments, as well as prepare them for the growing amount of higher-level questions and problems provided in testing situations. The levels of Bloom's taxonomy begin with Knowledge, then move on to Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, and end with Synthesis' (Newman, 2013).

Example of a good learning objective: Florida

Craft and Design in a kindergarten grade level course.

Task: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

Common Pitfalls in Planning Effective Lessons and How to Avoid

There are two common missteps in planning effective lessons: accidental learning and breadth of coverage.

To avoid these pitfalls teachers should tell their students what they expect of them and set goals around these expectations. Then teachers will back track and formulate lesson plans to reach these goals. Thus leading into backwards design.

Backwards Design

Backwards Design is a key emphasis of UbD or backward design planning or backward mapping. Simply put, this type of planning is a three-stage process that begins with the end in mind. It begins with defining what teachers want students to learn. Once the end (the learning outcome) has been identified, the next stage focuses on developing a plan to assess when the outcome has been met. The final stage relates to planning the learning activities in which students will engage (Newman, 2013).


Newman, R. (2013). Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century: Connecting the Dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.