A detailed plan, usually drawn up by the teacher, encapsulating the content and sequence of the lesson. A typical lesson plan sets out the aims, the learning objectives, the topic or topics to be covered, the activities and methods to be used, the methods of assessment, the resources required, the arrangements made for differentiation by task or by assessment, and the ways in which the lesson will cover generic aspects of the curriculum, such as literacy or social, moral, and spiritual development.
The lesson plan has a number of functions. Primarily it serves to formalize the planning process, which in turn provides a means of ensuring that the curriculum is fully covered. In a practical way it serves as a prompt or reminder for the teacher in terms of how activities will be sequenced, what resources will be required, and so on. Lesson planning is also a developmental process, helping the teacher to think through issues such as the balance between teacher and learner activity; the learning needs of specific individuals and small groups; the provision of a sufficient variety of activities to ensure learner engagement; the most effective ways of presenting unfamiliar topics; and so on. It also contributes to the professional process of reflection and evaluation, in that the teacher is able to review how well the plan succeeded in its implementation, and which aspects they might wish to review and revise when the lesson is taught again. The plan also plays an essential part in quality assurance, and is regarded as an essential piece of documentation for the purpose of inspections and internal quality reviews.
Many schools and colleges require teachers to use a standardized lesson plan format. This usually takes the form of a grid, and is designed to ensure that all components of the lesson, such as inclusion, differentiation, and mandatory curriculum requirements are included.