Lesson Plan Asset Components
When managing lesson plan assets, there are required fields in order to submit your lesson plan. This section takes a dive into Activities and other details with a goal of helping you to create an effective lesson plan in the NPS Educators Portal. This section includes the lesson hook, activities, conclusion, and crafting a good title.
Lesson Hook or Preview
Lesson hooks, also known as anticipatory sets, encourage students to focus and start to make connections between past experiences to current learning. What activity, video, song, or other experience could get the students excited about the lesson and thinking about the topic? Is there a way to make the lesson important to their lives or link the lesson content to what they already know? Lesson hooks are short yet powerful. As students explore concepts throughout the lesson, the teacher can reference back to the hook to make connections to prior learning.
Resources for Lesson Hooks
- Know Your Terms: Anticipatory Set from Cult of Pedagogy
- 5 Simple Anticipatory Sets That Make a Big Difference from Teachers Pay Teachers
Activities are an integral part of creating an effective lesson plan because they engage students in their education, as opposed to passively taking notes. Activities have the ability to increase student attention and focus, motivate students to practice higher-level critical thinking skills, and promote meaningful learning experiences.
Activities may also build upon one another. Succinct lesson plans help teachers find the activities that best meet the standards addressed in their unit. If a lesson plan has multiple activities, consider breaking up the activities into multiple lesson plans and creating a unit of lesson plans. Each lesson plan in the unit could include links to the other lesson plans in the “Related Lessons or Educational Materials” section.
Any activity should reinforce the learning outcome and help with reaching stated goals. Activities should expand student learning and allow them to use skill sets not used during the discussion or other portion of the lesson. Below are a few resources for different learning styles that should be used when creating engaging activities for students.
Be considerate of physical materials when developing activities for lesson plans in the Educators Portal. Ideal lesson plans use materials the teachers already have available. If a lesson requires specialized materials, teachers are less likely to conduct the lesson.
Resources for Active Learning
- Multiple Intelligences: What Does the Research Say? from Edutopia (July 20, 2016)
- Examples of Active Learning Activities by Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
- Active Learning Activities by Centre for Teaching Excellence
Wrapping Up Your Lesson Plan
This part of any lesson plan is often glossed over, or skipped, due to lack of time or lack of understanding its importance. The conclusion of a lesson is very important because it gives the teacher time to ensure the students understand what was discussed. Additionally, it provides an opportunity to rephrase information that may have been misunderstood during the lesson. Repetition (within reason) is one of the most effective ways of learning new information, and this is a built-in way to provide it.
Conclusions can go beyond a brief popcorn discussion of takeaways from the lesson. The following resources provide suggestions for activities to make the wrap-up more interesting for everyone involved.
Resources for Improving Conclusions
- 22 Powerful Closure Activities by Todd Finley in Edutopia (December 15, 2015)
- 7 Best Ways to End a Lesson by BusyTeacher.org
Crafting a Good Title
The lesson plan title should predict the main idea or activity in the lesson and illustrate its connection to the park. Teachers will be scrolling through many lesson plans in the Educators Portal. Make the lesson plan title unique to your site. Additionally, the title should indicate the focus of the lesson plan. Avoid overusing common lesson plan titles that include phrases like “Scavenger Hunt,” “Rock Types,” or “Life in the 1800’s.”
- Should the Dams on the Elwha be Removed? A Classroom Debate
- The Liberty Bell as a Symbol for Civil Rights
- The Changing World of the Shenandoah Salamander
- The Geometric Artistry of Mesa Verde Pottery
Learn more about the other components of the NPS Educators Portal and continue the conversation on the Common Learning Portal.