Activity 4

Short Term Planning

When devising individual (or ‘short term') lesson plans, reflective teachers will first consider long and medium term plans, key strategies of classroom organisation and assessment information. They will also consider the need to differentiate according to individual learning needs.

Short-term lesson planning should be built around the definition of clear learning objectives. More than two or three objectives for a single lesson are likely to confuse the focus on core learning.

Inexperienced teachers are often confused by the differences between aims and objectives. ‘Aims' are general expressions of intent, e.g. "to enable pupils to develop an appreciation of life in the 17th century".

‘Objectives' are much more specific and more likely to be achievable in the course of a single lesson or short series of lessons, e.g. "to understand main causes of the Second World War".

Clear learning objectives are vital. Planning to objectives sharpens the focus on teaching and learning, enabling teachers to shift the emphasis from what pupils do to what they learn.

REFLECT: How do you ensure that pupils are aware of learning objectives in your lessons? In what ways can you give them greater ownership of your learning intentions?

WRITE: Make a list of learning objectives from your own recent lessons under the following headings:

  • cognitive objectives - which relate to knowledge or understanding to be demonstrated by the learner,
  • performance objectives - which define abilities or skills to be performed by the learner,
  • affective objectives - which relate to attitudes, values, beliefs or relationships to be developed by the learner.


(Allow 20 minutes)