A Well Written Montessori Lesson Plan Goes A Long Way
Writing a Montessori lesson plan takes careful time and consideration of both the educational standards and the abilities of the student.
A well written lesson plan will assist the teacher in lesson prep, and will enable the school director to ensure the school standards are being met by reviewing the prepared plans.
Of course the lesson plan needs to incorporate the Montessori approach to learning by using appropriate Montessori materials and understanding the planes of development, but how does the educator organize her lesson planning?
What elements need to be included in the planning?
The successful Montessori lesson plan incorporates a few basic elements. Naming lesson type, identifying prerequisites, setting objectives, and listing materials needed start out the lesson planning process.
Then the educator carefully plans out the language she will use to teach the actual lesson and list questions her students may have over the lesson.
Finally, the teacher will conclude the written plan by naming future lessons or activities based on the mastery of the current plan.
Title the Lesson Plan
The first step in the lesson plan is very basic. The teacher needs to identify the new skill she will be introducing to the student. This could be ‘making cvc words’ or ‘adding two single digit numbers together’. This is simply stating type of lesson plan the educator is writing.
List the Prerequisites
Next, the educator must list the previously taught and mastered skills needed to be successful with the new lesson. The educator must assess the student’s level of readiness for new information.
- Does the child have a good level of self-confidence to take on a new skill?
- Does he have a reasonable level of organization to handle the new responsibilities associated with the new information?
- How well has he mastered required skills as they relate to the new activity?
- If it is language arts related does he have a good grasp of concepts the lesson may require, like phonemic awareness?
- For a math related lesson, does the child need to first understand one to one correspondence?
Identifying the prerequisites for each new lesson and assessing the student’s level of mastery of these prerequisites is a vital first step in drafting a Montessori lesson plan. Many educators list three activities/lessons the student would need to complete before being prepared for the current lesson.
What’s the Main Objective?
A clearly set objective is imperative to identify. The educator needs to write out the main goal of the lesson. The goal should always align with the skill identified in the title of the lesson plan.
Objectives should include specific requirements the educator requires the student to meet before he is deemed to have mastered the objective.
For example, if the title of the lesson is ‘Making CVC Words’, a main objective may be, “The student will be able to create three cvc words (top, mop, pop) using pieces of the removable alphabet and a list of the three words with 100% accuracy”.
In addition to a standard objective which is directly aligned to the topic of the lesson, other goals can be met that are a natural result of the lesson its self.
Think of these goals as ‘bonus objectives’.
Maybe a math lesson about counting out ten pom balls incorporates the use of tongs. The main objective is for the student to understand the one to one correlation of objects to numbers, and a bonus objective is developing fine motor skills by squeezing the tongs.
It is always helpful for the teacher to list these bonus objectives to make sure she is incorporating and strengthening a variety of skills in the planned activity.
List the Materials
All lessons take materials. A well-organized Montessori lesson plan will include any and all materials needed to make the lesson plan successful. It may seem tedious to list each item, but it will save the educator a lot of time and frustration in the end.
Sitting down to start a lesson and realizing you forgot a pencil, for example, means the educator has to disrupt the learning experience to locate the pencil and derail the student’s attention.
The lesson plan may include a pencil, notebook paper, crayons, and zoology cards, and with each material listed, the teacher or teacher’s assistant can easily gather materials before beginning a lesson.
Planning Lesson Delivery
The educator has now thought out what the student needs to accomplish before being introduced to the lesson, has identified the various learning objectives, and has listed the needed materials for the lesson.
Now the educator needs to identify how she will actually facilitate the lesson. The lesson plan should state where the lesson will take place and how many students will participate in the lesson at one time. She will need to describe and model the new skill to the students.
Then, she will need to have the student model the activity with her assistance, and then have him do it on his own. The lesson plan needs to include a dialogue of what she will say and do through these steps. A good, thought out dialogue will help the teacher know how to best describe the lesson.
The Montessori teacher understands the importance of hands-on activities and allowing the student plenty of independent practice time with the new activity.
It is inevitable that a student may need extra help with a concept or have questions over the lesson. A good teacher anticipates what types of questions or problems each student may have with the new skills.
The Montessori lesson plan should have a list of these anticipated questions or problems and how to address them. If the lesson is using the movable alphabet, one perceived issue may be a student having difficulty identifying a letter.
The educator should list this and write how she would help the student overcome this difficulty. This step is perhaps the most difficult in the lesson planning as it can take a very in tune and experienced teacher to be able to anticipate possible questions from the student.
As the Montessori educator becomes more experienced in the classroom, she will be able to strengthen this portion of the planning and will be more effective in aiding students.
List Future Activities
Finally, the lesson plan should list two to three future activities/lesson topics that will build off of this lesson. Just as this lesson required the knowledge from previous activities, the current lesson is a prerequisite for future lessons. The teacher must ask herself what skills can be taught once these new skills are mastered.
No Two Students are the Same
The Montessori lesson plan is a guide to help the teacher be well prepared to aid the student through his learning process. No two students will master the lesson objects at the same time, thus it is important the educator is flexible and in touch with each student’s needs.
What elements do you find the most important in the prepared lesson plan? Let us know in the comments section.