At International House Rome we use the above template for lesson plans on the CELTA course. A sample is also provided above. An evaluation sheet should be used to reflect on your own teaching immediately after having taught and this is in your course handbook.

Please remember to also include the following sheets when teaching grammar or vocabulary with your lesson plans:

Lesson planning-the TOP TEN:

Lesson planning can be a very difficult part of CELTA as it can take up a lot of your time. Every teacher has their own strategy which works for them but a few general points to remember are:
  1. Your overall aim needs to be appropriate to the learners you are teaching. So, teaching a high-level group the present perfect continuous ('Who's been eating my porridge?') from Goldilocks and the 3 bears may be linguistically challenging but it certainly wouldn't be appropriate for their cognitive level
  2. Keep your overall aim in mind at every step of the planning process. Ask yourself how each task, activity or instruction is helping you achieve your overall aim
  3. Word your overall aim as follows 'By the end of the (LESSON TIME LIMIT) the learners will be able to (CLEAR EVIDENCE OF LEARNING: discuss/use item X/write etc.) in the context of (CONTEXT-who/where/why/what/when/how)'.
  4. Ensure that you have a context and if you are struggling with that, at least, have a text where the language you want to teach occurs naturally.
  5. Try planning from a spidergram or mindmap first. Throw all your ideas around the overall aims and then be selective in plotting these into a more standard plan using the template above.
  6. Some people find it very useful to plan backwards. Starting from the final activity which shows that your aim has been achieved work backwards and this will also help you with your stage-aims.
  7. A recurring issue is timing. Candidates often struggle with meeting their aims in a 40-minute lesson. Be realistic and ensure that the activity which shows that you have achieved your main aim is implemented no later than three-quarters of the way in your plan!
  8. Don't spend hours browsing the web for a perfect picture. If you want to use the Olympics as a topic draw 5 interlinking rings on the board, don't print off multiple pages of different Olympic sports, for example!
  9. Try and limit handouts to a manageable number- can't learners copy from the board rather than have a blank table on a handout, for example?
  10. Use the course book! Check the related teacher's book for ideas. Check workbooks or CDroms for material on the item or area you want to focus on.
  11. Take notes on your plan in real-time so that you can change less successful moments when you edit the plan for future use!

Tips on writing lesson and stage aims:

© M.Horrigan 2013

Some useful material for planning:

Further reading: