Effective Lesson Planning

Following our July Workshop, which you can re-watch by clicking on the yellow button below, take a look at the activities on this page to continue your learning on the topic. If you want to develop your teaching practice even further then take our Planning Lessons to Reach All Learners, which you’ll find a link to beneath Activity 2.


In the workshop, we outlined how meaningful and effective lesson plans are well-thought through and have purpose for both you and the learners that you teach. 

Consider this quote:

‘Teachers can reflect on the links between one activity and the next, the relationship between the current lesson and any past or future lessons, and the correlation between learning activities and assessment practices. Because the teacher has considered these connections and can now make the connections explicit to learners, the lesson will be more meaningful to them.’

The Importance of Planning, Richard James Rogers’

As teachers, it is standard practice to ensure that you plan your lessons effectively. How do you consider the connections between your activities and the learning in the classroom?

To help answer that question, here is a downloadable poster for your classroom or staffroom, which you might find useful in helping you to ensure that you create an effective lesson plan.


Below is a classroom scenario outlining the benefits of creating an effective lesson plan.

  • What is the effect of the lack of detail on Miss Phiri’s lesson plan?
  • What impact does sharing her lesson plan with her colleague, Mr Mulenga have on Miss Phiri?
  • How does this change Miss Phiri’s attitude?


Ms Phiri has just taught earth and space to her Grade 4 science class. She is now sitting in the classroom talking to her colleague, Mr Mulenga.

“The lesson didn’t go very well at all. The children did not learn anything and they looked so confused. I do not know why,” says Ms Phiri, wiping a tear from her eyes.

“Let me help. I am so sorry that you are upset. Do you have your lesson plan?” replies Mr Mulenga.

Ms Phiri hands Mr Mulenga her lesson plan.

“Tell me about this activity here that says ‘Tell students about earth’.”

“I planned to tell them some interesting facts about earth,” answers Ms Phiri.

“But, what are the students doing at that point and what facts are you telling them? And, can I ask, how long are you spending on this activity?” asks Mr Mulenga.

“Well, I just knew that I needed to relay information about earth. Maybe next time, I need to plan exactly what facts the students need to know; what activity the students will do to complete the learning; and how long I will spend on the task. Maybe my lack of planning was why the lesson didn’t go well.”

Ms Phiri benefited from sharing her lesson plan with Mr Mulenga. She has realised that her plan needs more detail in order to engage her students. Lesson plans are useful tools that allow us to design meaningful lessons.