Seven Steps to Consider in Planning For Effective Instruction (Lesson Design)


The anticipatory set paves the way for the learning that is about to take place.  The anticipatory set has three possible functions:
        focus the learner's attention
        relate previous learning (practice)
        develop readiness for the instruction to follow

The anticipatory set should be brief so that most of the instructional time is left for activities that will accomplish the instructional objective.


Ask the students to give synonyms for "beautiful, fat, great, etc." (when the objective is to improve descriptive writing.)

"Who will restate the key ideas of yesterday's lesson before we expand on them today?"

Show the class a picture of the Grand Canyon and discuss (when the objective is to describe weathering)


This step involves teacher communication which informs the student what s(he) will be able to do by the end of instruction and why that accomplishment is important, useful, and relevant to present and future life situations.

In stating the objective, the teacher clearly informs the student what to expect and what to be able to accomplish by the end of the instruction.

The objective should be:

        specific in content
        focus on observable learner behavior


"You were slowed down yesterday because you had trouble with                                  .  Today you are going to practice in order to develop more speed and accuracy."

"We are going to learn the correct form of letter writing so you can write for the materials you need in your social studies project."

"Today we are going to learn ways of participating in a discussion so we each get turns and learn from other people's ideas."


To plan this step, the teacher must determine the information (new or already processed) is needed by the student in order to accomplish the present objective.  Often students are expected to achieve an objective without having been taught that which is necessary in order to do so.

Once the necessary information has been identified, the teacher must select the means for "getting it in the students' heads."  Will it be by the teacher, a book, film, records, filmstrip, diagram, picture, read objects, demonstration?  The possibilities are legion.


    The teacher explains.
    A film is used to give information or demonstrate an activity
    Students use library resources.

    Students discover the information.


Modeling provides students a finished product or an example of what the new learning looks like.  It is important that the learner's first exposure to the new learning is accurate.  The teacher's responsibility is to focus the learner on the essentials of the new learning by labeling the critical elements in the model and the sequence required for completion.


"Watch while I solve this problem on the board; I will tell you what I am thinking as I go along."

"Notice that everything a person says directly to another is contained in quotation marks in the dialogue."  The teacher will have several examples of direct quotes on the board and will point to the words within the quotation marks."


To Check for Understanding, the teacher observes the students performing the new skill.  This gives the teacher feedback about whether the students have the essential information and understand the model just taught.

There should be three types of checking for understanding - choral, individual, and sampling.


Pose a question to the total group, then get answers from several students. (sampling)

Every student signal by "thumbs up" for agree or "thumbs down" for disagree. (choral)

Each student write the answer to my question. (individual)


The student's first attempt to new learning should be guided by the teacher to aid future success.

The student needs to perform the task immediately so the teacher can correct errors before  the student practices on his or her own.

In guided practice, the teacher provides practice for the student that parallels the behavior called for in the objective.  The teacher guides the practice and checks to see that each student is performing the task correctly.


The student is ready to develop fluency by practicing independently once s(he) demonstrates performance without errors.  The activity used for independent practice should require the student to perform the same skill stated in the lesson objective and learned in the lesson.


Summarize learning; future purpose

Closure may take place at the conclusion of any segment of instruction or at the end of the class period.
Closure may not be administrative!  It must be observable to receive credit.


"Today we have practiced using compound words.  We learned what a compound word is and used them in sentences.  Tomorrow we will begin studying contractions."

Sample Lesson Plan


Comprehension Lesson Plan

Assignment 4, L6


Anticipatory Set (Focus)







Instructional Input/Description








Check for Understanding




Guided Practice




Independent Practice















Sample Lesson Plan