A lesson is the culmination of all the knowledge and skills taught in a class. A lesson plan is a document that outlines the learning objectives to be achieved throughout a course, and it helps keep all participants on the same page.
A lesson objective is a short statement of what you want students to know, do, or feel at the end of your lesson. They are the ‘aims’ or “outcomes” of lessons. They help teachers focus on what they want students to learn to complete the lessons and achieve the curriculum objectives.
Lesson objectives also give learners direction in their learning by providing a clear link between the outcomes of your lessons and the curriculum.
This post will outline some of the main lesson objectives for any lesson plan- how they work, why they are essential, and how they can be measured.
What Are the Objectives of a Lesson?
According to the ASCD, good lesson objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. They can be used to guide instruction.
There are five types of learning objectives that teachers should try to incorporate into their lesson plans:
This type of objective tells what students will know by the end of the lesson. Students typically do activities that allow them to learn information, allowing the teacher to quickly assess whether or not students learned what they were supposed to.
For example, suppose a student is learning about volume and capacity using water in different containers. In that case, the knowledge objective for this lesson may be “I can explain how changing container size affects volume.”
Students learn skills such as reading, writing, and computing in order to perform tasks.
For example, if a teacher teaches math concepts such as addition and subtraction with regrouping, the objective of the skill may be “I can add or subtract with regrouping.”
The purpose of these objectives is to help students learn how to get along with each other or behave in class.
For example, a teacher may have an attitude objective that states, “I will respect myself and others in the classroom.”
This goal does not focus on a specific skill but instead challenges students to have an internal dialogue about the type of behavior they will display in class.
In this example, the teacher can assess if a student has been following directions by asking them to find something in the room and return to their seat while respecting others.
Global objectives are typically used for social studies, history, and other disciplines since they relate to a larger world. They can help learners understand how the information learned in a lesson connects with the outside world.
For example, if a math teacher teaches about money and measuring length, a global objective may be “I will be able to find out what I would make per hour at a job.” These objectives are usually taught by the end of the year.
When students move to middle school, they must adapt to new teachers, classmates, and subjects. Transition objectives tell students what they should know after a few weeks into the school year to be successful.
Teachers can give these objectives during orientation or when students are beginning a new unit to help learners adjust to the new setting.
An example of this type of objective is “I can find my classroom.” These types of objectives are not assessed as frequently as the others.
They, however, help learners feel more comfortable with their surroundings. They also give teachers insight into how students are adjusting to school life.
What is the First Objective of the Lesson?
The first objective of a lesson is to create a safe and supportive environment to focus on learning.
An effective lesson plan defines the lesson’s goals and details how they will be accomplished through objectives.
A goal is an outcome or result that is being sought or achieved. For instance, if you are teaching a student to shoot a basketball using proper form, your goal might be for him/her to make 9 out of 10 shots using proper form successfully.
An objective is a measurable skill or knowledge that will be used to meet the goal. In the basketball example, the objective would be for him/her to successfully make 9 out of 10 shots with the correct form and release point.
A possible way to measure this would be to videotape his/her shot and count the number of baskets made with the correct form.
Objectives could be short or long-term depending upon the learning objectives, strategies, and learner’s individual goals.
Measurable objectives outline what participants should know and be able to do after completing a lesson plan. The objectives give teachers an idea of how to organize the lesson plan to maximize student learning. They also outline the goals teachers should reach in each class session.
It is important to remember that objectives are goals, not steps (the process). Do not just list what you want the students to do.
Also, think about why they should be doing it and how they will know if they have mastered the objective. Here are some questions teachers can ask themselves when writing objectives:
1) What is being taught?
2) Why is it being taught?
3) How will they know if they have achieved mastery of the objective?
Objective example: After this lesson, students will be able to identify three types of rocks.
Objective explanation: Students will learn vocabulary words for describing rocks in their natural state (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic). They will identify three examples of each type of rock. The learners will be able to define each term in their own words correctly.
Objective evaluation: Teacher observations, students’ written responses, or a quiz/test can all be used to measure student mastery of the objective.
How Do You Prepare a Lesson Plan?
Lesson planning is a way to organize, structure, and strategically plan the content of instruction.
To create an effective lesson plan, set some time aside for planning your classes, as well as space in which to work. During this time, you can begin planning by first asking yourself a few questions:
- What is the objective of this lesson?
- What will the students be able to do or accomplish after this lesson is complete?
- How will I know if they have achieved mastery of the objective?
- What materials and activities will I need to complete this lesson, and how much time should each activity take?
You have some idea of what you want to teach and know if students have mastered the objective. It is time to gather your resources. Here is a list of possible resources:
- Textbooks and supplementary materials
- Online tools and multimedia
- Science equipment
- Paper, pens, and pencils
- Art supplies and tools
- Physical education equipment such as balls, jump ropes, hoops, etc.
- Manipulatives such as cubes, base ten blocks, pattern blocks, etc.
- Blackboard/whiteboard and markers
- Audio/Visual tools such as a projector or DVD player
- Other items that are specific to the subject area. For example, if you teach chemistry, you might need safety goggles and simple equipment used in experiments.
A flowchart is a diagram that shows the sequence of events, decisions, or actions in a process or workflow.
To create the best lesson plan, you will need to start at the beginning and write out precisely what you will be doing with your students during this lesson. Here are some things to consider when creating your flowchart:
- How will you introduce the lesson and objective?
- What will be the first activity in your lesson, and how long should it last?
- How will you assess student understanding of the objective?
- Which materials or activities do you need to bring out next?
- Will there be multiple activities in a row, or do you need to break the lesson up into several parts?
- What will be your closing activity?
Ensure that all your objectives are included. If an objective is too large for one class session, split it into two or more activities to enable you to meet the objective.
A method shows how something will be done, and there are many effective methods used in classrooms today.
1) Lecture – This method is where all students are seated in front of the teacher, and the teacher presents information to the class.
2) Demonstration- Show students how something is done without actually performing it yourself.
3) Socratic Seminar- Ask questions that push students into thinking critically about a topic or issue.
4) Small Group Discussion- Divide students into small groups to discuss a specific topic or issue.
5) Literature Circles (or Book Clubs) – Split learners into small groups that read the same book. Have them meet at regular intervals to discuss what they have read.
6) Problem Based Learning- Students are presented with a problem. They must use the skills they have learned to solve it.
7) Service Learning- This method allows students to contribute something of value to their society.
(Objectives must be SMARTER by being Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely, and Ethical).
For every topic or skill that you will be teaching, create a lesson objective and an assignment.
1) Lesson objective- A specific piece of knowledge or skill that is taught by a lesson.
2) Assignment- The task given to students to complete as part of a lesson. Students need to demonstrate the knowledge or skill they have learned.
Include different types of assignments in your lessons. When creating an assignment, ensure that it is simple enough for students to learn from and challenges them so they are not bored by what you ask of them.
An effective way of choosing an assignment is to ask yourself these questions:
- Can I grade this assignment quickly?
- Does this assignment allow students to demonstrate the objective of the lesson?
- Is it challenging but not too difficult?
- How can I modify this assignment for different learners?
Every time a lesson is taught in a classroom, there are different types of learners present. This means that each student will have a variety of different strengths and weaknesses. Create an assignment that allows learners with all types of learning styles to be successful in your lessons.
- K- Know
- D- Do
- W- Want to Know
For students to be successful in the lessons, they must check off the different types of knowledge and skills required for a lesson. Include time to assess whether or not their lesson was practical. If the lesson objective was not met, find out why and make the necessary changes to learn how to complete their goals.
- Develop one objective for each lesson you are teaching
- Create assignments that align with the objective
- Create a checklist to keep track of student understanding/progress, and create assessments based on this information to make sure students are meeting your learning goals
- Practice lessons in advance with individuals or small groups before teaching the whole class
- Follow up with students once you have taught the lesson to see what they learned and answer any questions they may have.
- Do a pre-assessment at the end of each lesson. Determine what worked and what did not work. Make changes to improve your lessons for future classes.
- Modify your unit based on this evaluation if necessary.
- Repeat steps 5-8 until you are satisfied with the way students are performing and learning.
We hope this definitive guide has helped you better understand lesson objectives and lesson planning. Please remember to take the time to assess your lesson plans. At the end of the lesson, reflect on what worked well and how you can improve.