STANDARD LESSON PLAN OR NOTE WRITING IN NIGERIA – Introduction and Components

In this post, I discussed the best approach you need to take to write a perfect lesson plan as a teacher. If you read this post to the end, you will learn what a lesson plan means, the procedure and elements of a good lesson plan.  I give a step-by-step approach you need to follow to achieve a good lesson note. You need to know that the content of this post is not a mere one-man suggestions or thoughts. The method I present here has been proven to be most effective approach used by veteran teachers. To make sure the approach is as accurate as it should be; I asked some of the best teachers I’ve known, consulted dozens of books and articles; and fused it with my experience over the years. If you are experienced teacher and thinks I left something out, please drop it by commenting below. This could be valuable to new teachers.

What is Lesson Plan or Lesson Note?

Lesson plan or Lesson note is what the name suggests: a set of related steps that a teacher intends to adopt in delivering a lesson to achieve the goal (s) of that lesson for a given week (s).

“Do you know how to write lesson note?” was one of the questions I was asked during my first interview. At the time I just graduated from secondary (high) school. So, I had neither teaching experience nor do I know anything about teaching. I know nothing else a teacher does in the school but teaching! And after a long time, I discovered that even today circumstantial teachers (people that become teachers to keep life going) still find themselves in same problem. However, mine didn’t stop at the term. When I eventually learned what lesson note meant, I wasn’t sure how to write one. If you are like I was, or plan to take a teaching job; then read on. This post will also be valuable to in-practice teachers; if not in addition of knowledge then in remembrance.

NOTE: In an attempt not to make this Standard Lesson Plan / Note Writing guide a heavy ready for you, I broke the entire guide into two parts. This part (1) covers the introduction and components of a standard lesson note while the second part, covers details of the steps. Click here to check out the second part after reading this and also see some of our lesson notes here.

Types of Lesson Notes

  • New Lesson Notes – this is a type that is developed from the scratch by the teacher. All ideas are original and exclusively his. This is the type that is required of young teachers in the majority of schools. Consequently, this post is based on how to write a new lesson note from ground up. All other lesson notes are done in almost same way. So, this covers all.
  • Review Lesson Note – this is written when an existing note needs to be updated with new method or ideas. The initial note may be written by you or another teacher. It is usually necessary if the teacher discover new (and more effective) teaching methods. This may be a simple addition or removal of presentation step. It is also required when there is a new discovery in the field, a change in the school syllabus or textbooks.
  • Skill practicing Lesson Notes – this is a lesson note that details the step taken to teach the learner a particular skill
  • Continued Lesson Note – this is when a teacher is required to continue note from where s/he or another teacher stopped. It may be a continuation of a week’s topic which needs to be broadened. Or a new week’s topic in the same subject. It may also be to continue note on a subject for the same class in a new term.

But I Really Need to Write Lesson Note?

Yes, you badly do need to write lesson note! One of the veteran teachers I discussed with while preparing this post put the need in the next sentence. “Note of lesson to a teacher is like a hoe or cutlass to a farmer. It is absolutely compulsory”. It is one of the duties of any teacher. Although you may have observed that some teachers in your school no longer make use of their lesson note. This may be due to other engagements which take up the time to write one. It could also be that they have taken that subject for years and have become familiar with the steps that work out well for them. However, both are only excuses which do not make the practice acceptable. Lesson note helps you to ‘guide you to become a better teacher’ and nothing is too good to be improved. Even if you have that type of teachers in your school, you still need to write a lesson note. Your head teacher will ask you for it anyway and besides, excellence is doing what others can’t do. Lesson note makes you effective and efficient. Some reasons why you need to write lesson note are:

  • To avoid uncertainty and errors – it enables you to prepare before the class. You see, when teaching topics you didn’t prepare for, there will be some things you are not sure of. Lesson notes reduce this uncertainty and chances of teaching the students the wrong things. It helps you to at any point in time; know which step you are now, and the next step to take.
  • To set boundaries – it limits you to the subject matter and prevent the temptation of drifting from it
  • To avoid omission and repetition – see a teacher who is repeating a sentence over and over again, then you have seen a teacher who isn’t prepare for the class.
  • To choose instructional materials – while preparing the note for a particular you will readily discover the materials you need to deliver the topic maximally.
  • To give direction – it helps you to follow the syllabus as you should
  • For proxy – lesson note makes easy for another teacher to cover (stand-in) for you when you are necessarily absent.
  • As a proof – your lesson notes is a proof that you are actually teaching. It shows that you have made effort to give the learners the best you can. That’s a plus for you!

What is the Steps Involved in Writing Lesson Plan?

In summary, I prefer to say the only two steps taken in writing a good lesson plan is “Think and Write”. Yes, that is the summary. But what do you have to think and write? I’ll explain.

You see, lesson notes are written in order of standard steps. These steps form the components of any lesson note. Nevertheless, not all lesson notes are the same. In fact, the way you write lesson plan may differ from subject to subject. Below are the components that form a standard lesson note. These components are also the steps involved in writing lesson notes. Follow the components/steps carefully to write yours. Feel free to drop a question at the comment box below should you have any question or observation.

Components of a good lesson plan

Although lesson notes are not all the same, the standard elements of a good lesson notes are:

  • Name of Teacher
  • Name of School
  • Date
  • Period
  • Duration
  • Age
  • Class
  • Class Composition (size, ability and characteristics)
  • Subject
  • Topic
  • Reference Materials
  • Instructional Materials
  • Entry Behaviour
  • Objectives
  • Previous Knowledge
  • Method of Teaching
  • Teacher’s Activities
  • Learners’ Activities
  • Presentation(in steps)
  • Evaluation
  • Summary;
  • Assignment; and
  • Conclusion

The elements also represent the progressive steps taken in writing a good lesson note.