A lesson plan should consider the holistic child and the intended learning outcomes for the children in your class, both as a group and as individuals.
Generally speaking, a lesson plan should address or consider:
- Social relationships
- Cognitive skills
- Physical skills
- Social studies
- Health and Safety
As early childhood educators, we want to develop (amongst many other things) language skills, positive attitudes towards learning, acceptance of new situations and rules, the ability for self-expression and awareness of the five senses. These skills will be interwoven into lesson plans; as you know, we never teach just one thing at a time!
Through these areas, children should have opportunities to develop the following skills:
- Acceptance of responsibility
- Problem solving
The lesson plan for each day needs to include independent play, both indoors and outdoors, areas of interest for the children, language, music and a health, nutrition and sustainability focus.
Before you sit down to write a lesson plan for your preschool class, there are so many things you need to consider. Many of the below aspects you will consider automatically, with experience.
What do you actually need to prepare in advance? When you are starting out it’s a good idea to get together a list of what will be required to implement your lesson plan. There is nothing worse than starting an activity and realizing you forgot the essential ingredient!
What is the format? Large groups? Small groups? Pairs? Do you have enough staff to facilitate and supervise smaller groups?
How are you going to set it up so that the children are going to get the most out of the experience?
Is it a messy activity? Will you need to line the table first? Do you need to have a bowl of water close at hand?
How will clean-up be undertaken?
What is the pack up strategy so that it can be a smooth transition to the next activity?
What responsibilities are you going to give to the children?
The experience needs to fulfill the needs and interests of the individual children in the group as well as achieve a variety of learning outcomes, for example: sensory, intellectual stimulation, fine and gross motor skills, opportunities to hear and use language, interpersonal relationships, exploration of surroundings and music.
Occasionally you will need to go back over a previously taught concept as children will learn in a variety of ways and at different paces.
Consider what happened the week, day and hour before so you can adapt and build. Reflect on photos and notes taken as well as reflection time with the staff.
What worked, what didn’t work and why?
Identify what parts of the program were relevant and irrelevant to each individual child.
Take time to gain the children’s reflection and feedback of the day or a particular experience to implement into the preschool lesson plan. Are you able to implement the feedback straight away or will it be the next hour/day/week?
Have a think about ways to involve the parents. What would suit your parents best? What are the demographics of your parents? You might have parents that have difficulty reading and writing, or parents might have really high academic expectations. What type of communication is going to be most effective?
Have a think about the principles, practices or outcomes that you need to incorporate into your lesson plan.
What do you think about before you write your lesson plan? I’d love your input to include in this list.