How To Structure A Lesson Plan

I’ve talked before about planning your activities, but I didn’t really go into detail about the specifics of physically structuring a lesson plan. Every camp does this differently (at my camp we have a layout that involves both writing and illustrations), but the main idea of a lesson plan is that not only do you get your thoughts organised and have a structure to stick to, but it also means that if, for some reason, you aren’t available to teach that class (or you’re on day off and someone is covering your lesson), anyone can pick up your lesson plan and know exactly what they should be doing because it’s all written down, step by step, for them to follow.

summer camp swimming lessons
The same principles apply to every lesson, whether it’s swimming or mountain biking

You should have a lesson plan written up for every day of the week, so that you know you can fit everything in to the 5 days of classes (or however your camp does things). So the first thing you need to do is work out what you want to start with and what your end goal is. For example in soccer classes, you might start with simple dribbling skills and end the week with a full game, once the kids have mastered all the different skills. It gives them (and you) something to work towards.

Someone very wise once told me that in each class, you should do the following:

1. Tell the kids what you’re going to teach them/what they’re going to do in this class.

2. Teach them/do the lesson/learn the skills.

3. Tell them/ask them what they learnt.

By doing the above, you are making sure the campers understand what that class is going to be all about and what they are going to learn, you follow through by doing what you promised, and then you find out what they did actually learn!

summer camp riding lesson

So the structure of a lesson plan. Be detailed. Remind yourself that anyone should be able to pick this up and understand exactly what they would need to do to teach this lesson.

Step 1 – What is the name of the activity?

Step 2 – Where does the activity take place?

Step 3 – How many kids in the class?

Step 4 – What equipment or materials are needed?

Step 5 – What is the goal of the lesson?

Step 5 – Lesson description. What happens in the lesson? How does it start? What skills are you teaching in the middle? How does it end? Be specific. Use diagrams/illustrations if it helps.

A good lesson always has a clear beginning, middle and end.

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