Elementary teachers identify learning objectives, detail learning activities and plan assessments when developing lesson plans. Many teachers use standard templates with all lesson components listed to simplify lesson plan development.
A standard lesson plan starts with the objectives, goals or learning standards for the lesson. Each lesson needs a purpose that links back to the specific learning outcomes identified for that elementary grade. Other common lesson plan components include the introduction or anticipatory set, materials list, direct instruction, guided practice, independent practice and assessment.
If the lesson comes from a textbook or workbook, the lesson plan includes the page of that assignment. The plan expands on the textbook excerpt to show a step-by-step process for teaching the lesson. For a hands-on activity not related to textbooks, the lesson plan includes all of the instructions and background information for the project.
Teachers often develop lesson plans a week at a time. This schedule allows the teacher to assess how far the class progressed in the previous lessons and to know whether the class is ready for the next one. The students might not understand a concept introduced in the current week's lesson plans. When the teacher plans the following week's lessons, she can revisit the concept with a different approach.