Activity 5

Structuring Lesson Plans

This activity deals with lesson structure. There are various ways of subdividing lessons. Hargreaves, for example, divided lessons into five phases:

  1. The entry phase
  2. The settling down or preparation phase.
  3. The lesson proper phase.
  4. The clearing up phase.
  5. The exit phase.

(Hargreaves et al. (1984))

More recently, the Key Stage 3 Strategy in England and Wales suggests that an effective lesson structure should include:

  • A crisp start, which allows pupils to share experience and prior knowledge, sometimes done through a specific starter activity.
  • Exposition and explanation of the main points and content of the lesson, which allows pupils to access new information and be introduced to new skills and processes.
  • Activities which build on this exposition by allowing pupils to process the new information, to identify patterns, rules and conventions arising from it and to develop understanding.
  • Opportunities to consolidate and apply their learning and express this in a range of ways, for example through written, diagrammatic, physical, visual, auditory or oral responses.
  • Plenaries during and at the end of a lesson to check on progress and for pupils to reflect on what they have learned and how they have learned it.

(DfES, 2002, Key Stage 3 Strategy. Training materials for the foundation subjects. Ref: DfES 0350/2002. page 74)

REFLECT: Compare these two accounts of lesson structure. Where is the overlap? Where are the main differences? How closely does either account fit the planning format in this lesson plan from The Harry Gretton School?

WRITE: Write some notes to compare the lesson planning format used in your own school with the format used in The Harry Gretton School in England? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each?

(Allow 20 minutes)