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10 ideas on how to plan your lessons more quickly

Lesson planning can be a time-consuming process, but you can actually maximise your time if you follow these tips:

  1. Plan your lesson backwards, starting by the expected learning outcome. What would you like your students to achieve by the end of the lesson? By looking at the outcome first, you will be able to better plan the lesson stages and materials because your lesson will have a clear focus. If you want to read further, check out this link.
  2. On the same note, plan a series of 2 or 3 lessons in a sequence, on the same topic but addressing different skills and learning outcomes.
  3. Make room for emergent language from your students, make sure you note down their questions regarding new language or new phrases they learn. This can help you plan your following lessons – you can revise emergent language in the beginning of the lesson, for instance.
  4. Curate materials and important links by using a bookmarking website ( such as Pocket and Diigo). Besides that, keep your past lesson plans in a safe folder ( Google Drive is perfect for that). Once in a while re-use that lesson plan.
  5. Start your lesson with a quick grammar and/or vocabulary review from your previous lesson. Ensure that you know the topics you’ve taught and common questions from learners. You can use Quizlet or Socrative for quick quizzes.
  6. Choose the lesson materials (articles, videos, worksheets, etc) after planning the objective and expected learning outcomes ( tip 1). Your learning outcome should inform your materials and lesson procedures, not the materials. The materials are your tools only.
  7. Use the tech tools and websites that you already master. Don’t try to use tons of websites, it can be overwhelming for both you and your student. Keep it simple.
  8. Plan a brief reflection task for your student at the end of the lesson. Simple questions such as did you find the lesson interesting or boring? Why? What did you find easy? What did you find difficult? What have you learnt? This can be done orally – make sure you note down the answers or record the lesson to watch back. Their answers will help you plan your upcoming lessons more meaningfully.
  9. Join online communities of practice for lesson ideas, as teachers usually share their lesson plans and blog posts. I love Twitter and Facebook groups and Fanpages ( for example, this group and this page).
  10. Keep your lesson plan simple and realistic. You don’t probably need a Celta-like lesson framework – even though it is a good example, it’s too time-consuming. Design a lesson plan that works for you and your learners.

Thanks for reading.


1 Comment

  1. Carmen Rosa Pinedo Guerra says:

    Thank you so much, Cecilia. You are the Best!💟

    El mar., 22 de sep. de 2020 a la(s) 03:41, Cecilia Nobre ELT Blog ( comment-reply@wordpress.com) escribió:

    > cecilianobreelt posted: ” Lesson planning can be a time-consuming process, > but you can actually maximise your time if you follow these tips: Plan your > lesson backwards, starting by the expected learning outcome. What would you > like your students to achieve by the end of th” >

    Liked by 1 person

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