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  • Virginia
  • Featured Contributor

    • 93

    • September 19, 2006, 01:20:41 pm
    • Suncheon
Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« on: November 16, 2007, 06:53:23 am »
There have been quite a few posts lately about lesson planning and sharing or not sharing lessons... I thought I'd perhaps move the discussion to its own thread.

First off, yes I have uploaded a lot of lesson plans, have given multiple presentation about how to plan lessons, almost wrote a textbook (I backed out so that I could wander around the world instead) and have shared ideas with people who randomly msg me on msn and say "I have a class in 15 minutes that I didn't know about... what do I do now?"

I'm not an expert at this - I still have classes that tank completely. It's all a part of the learning process.

When I was teaching in Canada, creating a lesson plan (or complete module) was not something I could measure in hours, but in days or weeks. And that is the main reason why I share, and encourage others to share (and thank people like jellomando for sharing). The more trading that happens, the better it is for everybody, with the understanding that you can never take a lesson (even your own past lesson plan) and use it as is... you MUST modify it and make it your own. If not, the chances for success are lessened (in my experience anyway...)

But I digress... Just to give you an idea of the thought processes that I go through when I plan a lesson - notice that it gets more hectic as it goes along.

1) Start with a topic and/or grammar notion. If you use a theme/topic (i.e. animals), you will have more leeway than if you use a grammar notion (i.e. past tense).

2) Narrow the theme down to things that interest you or that you have some prior knowledge about (different animals around the world).

3) Now, stop - and go backwards (wait... how many animals are there in the world? Do these kids even have a concept of where in the world animals come from? Maybe my starting point needs to be a mini-geography lesson?? Okay - let's go by continent and separate the animals into categories according to where they come from in the world)

4) Now, stop - and go forwards (what is my final product going to be - meaning what will the closure activity be for the students? What will the end result be? What do I expect them to learn?)

5) How will you introduce this theme to your students? You must activate their own prior knowledge and give them a context to work in (hmmm, how about if I start each presentation with a review of the continents that we've already seen and then choose one and have a powerpoint showing animals from that continent?)

6) What is the *activity* in your lesson going to be? How will the students practice what they have acquired? (For each continent's animals, there will be a different, small, fun activity -- I'm not creating zoologists here, but giving the kids a taste of the larger world and the diversity of its fauna -- not that they will realize it at the time. These are children, let's feed the curiosity...) Hmmm, examples of activities - slapping game (hitting the picture of the animal when I say the name - encourages word recognition through reading and listening), colouring pages, wordsearches, a modified Yut game, matching/memory game, learning a penguin dance....

7) What are my resources? (okay... I can modify jellomando's geography lesson and bring it down to an elementary level... google images and asking friends for pictures of themselves with strange animals around the world will work for making the powerpoints... Discovery Kids has tools to create wordsearches and criss-cross words... there are Yut games at the chun-won store that I can modify... has a whole slew of Amazon animal colouring pages... bogglesworldesl (aka lanternfish) might have  something.... youtube has a lot of random animal videos....)

8) Now... I need to start making the activities. If I just take Africa as an example -- I have a powerpoint with pictures of animals, then we can play the slap game, then there's a wordsearch. In the next lesson, we will review the animals, then I can show them a 5-minute video of random African animal images that I found on youtube.... WAIT... what will they do during the video? Sleep? Noo... need a simple worksheet with a few animal names - lion, giraffe, elephant, springbok - and every time they see that animal, they have to colour a square next to the name... yes, okay... and let's call it a Safari)

.... and so on.

This is a real thematic module that I am doing with my Grade 3 and 4 students. I haven't planned the whole thing out yet (I've done the geography, Africa, South America and Antarctica lessons so far), and it is constantly a work in progress. Once it is finally done, it will represent HOURS of work, and yes, it will be posted on waygook....

And why is this lesson plan working in my classes? Because I am building on my kids' prior knowledge (they know a few of the animal names in English, and can identify most of them in Korean), using something of interest to them and TO ME, with visual support and a variety of activities.

Finally, my school doesn't know whether I've spent 3 hours planning a class or 3 minutes... but I do.
Nobody is interested in something you didn't do.

  • Brian
  • Featured Contributor

    • 735

    • September 19, 2006, 01:07:56 pm
    • Pittsburgh / Jeollanam-do
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 01:05:34 pm »
Warning: this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days.
Unless you're sure you want to reply, please consider starting a new topic.

I do what I want, when I want. 

Anyway, this has been up here for a while, but I just wanted to say thanks for posting it.  It's a very useful summary of lesson planning, and something I probably should have refered to more. 
In Korea from 2005 - 2010, not in Korea now.  Please contact an active moderator for quick answers to your questions.

Current project:

  • thebisk
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • January 09, 2009, 12:18:19 pm
    • Bundang
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 01:02:43 pm »
Great summary!

I have always appreciated your great organization, ideas and willingness to share lessons, both here and on the teacher's facebook group.

It really helps those of us who are still getting the hang of this confidence levels up.

Best of luck on new adventure.

xoxo Trish

  • TheRah
  • Newgookin

    • 1

    • October 08, 2010, 07:11:04 am
    • Bupyeong-gu, Incheon, South Korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2010, 09:01:55 am »
at the risk of sounding off...

lesson planning isn't as hard when you're privately teaching.

I definitely feel like the hagwon telling me which materials to use makes it harder to plan lessons the way I want to.  I'm struggling with finding that balance right now.  And making it clear to the students that the materials they will be tested on are in the book but we will be learning it in a different way.

I wish I had had some training.  My TESL classes were more centered on ESL in L.A.U.S.D. and not teaching English as a Foreign Language.  Context lessons would prove to be more interesting.  Maybe I can use that...

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2011, 09:37:15 am »
What I really would like is greater feedback form the Korean co-teachers.

I've asked them about my skills as a teacher before, but I'm not sure they fully understand.

I definitely would like more evaluations and written feedback

  • jknott01
  • Waygookin

    • 20

    • March 21, 2011, 01:00:45 pm
    • Seoul, South Korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 08:00:49 am »
I've found that nothing is static in teaching. I try to be as flexible as possible. Nothing I plan is set in stone.

  • Rantor
  • Waygookin

    • 12

    • March 02, 2011, 02:18:30 pm
    • Gunsan
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 08:12:10 am »
Lesson planning can be as easy or difficult as you make it.  My mother works as a proffesor and she spends countless hours planning lessons when she gets a new class.  That being said for the classes she has taught before, most of the work she has done is re-used.  The same can be said about the english learning centers.  Same lesson over and over and over.  With a hagwon job you might teacher 6 or 7 different classes levels and topics in one day.  In that case (especially when recovering from a long noraebang session)  quick and dirty lesson plans with a bit of improv works fine.   I think sharing materials is awesome and I';m glad there are people who are skilled at making powerpoints (I can't use the Korean version for a damn).  And youtube....  priceless. 

  • zoehwaseong
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • October 05, 2010, 09:41:35 am
    • hwaseong, south korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 08:20:16 am »
As an inexperienced college graduate starting in September, I was completely clueless and waygook saved me numerous times.  Even so, last semester my coteacher told me what she wanted me to focus on and I would possibly find some lesson plans and modify them to fit my classes.  Now, I have no instruction about lessons and have complete freedom, so I have unfortunately lost most of my motivatio; waygook is clutch once again.  But thanks for your lesson planning tips!

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 08:29:05 am »
Again as a complete newbie to both Korea and teaching I have really struggled when it comes to lesson planning and coming up with ideas for my 20 hours of afterschool classes. I would again like to say thank you for this advice so much, I know it'll make coming up with plans so much easier for me.

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 10:15:50 am »
I'm a total noob as well and I can't tell you how helpful this site has been. You guys are total lifesavers! I hope once I get the hang of things I can share my own lessons. :)

  • cangel
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • May 12, 2011, 12:34:41 pm
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2011, 10:35:15 pm »
It's much easier getting material online and modifying it to fit the students' levels. I used to make powerpoints and games on my own and it was so time consuming and tedious! Waygook and is definitely a lifesaver! It saves me so much time and people share pretty amazing bomb games!

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2011, 12:21:09 am »
Right. Now I am making lesson plan for open class. so stressful. But this waygook site so great. you can find a lot of teaching materials here and then it becomes much easier to make teaching plan. 

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2011, 07:59:33 pm »
Right. Now I am making lesson plan for open class. so stressful. But this waygook site so great. you can find a lot of teaching materials here and then it becomes much easier to make teaching plan.

Just keep your lesson plan and indeed your lesson for open class pretty basic but intersting.  Make sure you cover all the various styles of learning, but most importantly, make sure you kids are having fun.  They will act great,  all Korean students do during open classes.  So participation won't be a problem.   Try and get in some form of western culture or your home country's culture involved,. i.e. pronunciation between English and American English or even different words between the two,  ground floor vs first floor etc...

If  you teach at Elementary school use that chapter's song for the warm up,  just keep it simple and you'll be fine...   good luck

  • windsluvr
  • Adventurer

    • 26

    • June 12, 2011, 09:56:12 pm
    • changwon
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2011, 02:36:34 pm »
Try to get a template to get started and thinking about it. Starting with a theme is the main thing and then what you want the students to get out of it. Is it focused on vocab? grammar? speaking? reading? spelling? I usually do two main focus like listening and speaking. And then move on to writing and reading.

Most classes are started with :
Warm up (a mini game)
New materials
- usually have 2 different activites
Wrap Up

then depending on your Korean teacher... they might want to give out homework.

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 11:12:28 am »
I found this really useful. I have been struggling to come up with my own lesson plans. Waygook has been helpful but to have a formula on how to produce an efficient plan will definitely come in use! Thanks :-)

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 08:52:22 am »
I use the same formula.

1. What do I want them to learn? (size)
2. What materials / context will they be learning with / within? (fast food)
3. How do I deliver them into the context in a fun, natural, suspenseful way? (bring a mcdonald's bag to class and start talking about my delicious lunch, ask them to guess what is in the bag)

Choose materials and contexts that YOU like talking about.

Thanks for your post!

  • kukine
  • Waygookin

    • 10

    • December 01, 2010, 02:52:44 pm
    • ROK
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2011, 08:04:36 am »
Yeah, this website's really a big help. The big struggle is making something that's both interesting to them and something they can actually hopefully advance a little with.   But making one or two plans a week is rough enough, doing a new one everyday for after school.... Any ideas on that?

Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2011, 09:09:39 am »
For after school, my base curriculum for 1st and 2nd graders came from the phonics section of

I gave the students (one by one) full control of the computer (based on good behavior), and directed the "teacher" from the board when to click something. There are plenty of games and songs to build from.

They were behaved and maintained interest for an entire semester.

And I learned a lot about how to teach phonics.

For the older kids, there are phonics lessons and stories which really got them reading for the first time.

  • Jays
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • July 13, 2011, 10:34:23 am
    • South Korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2011, 09:38:31 am »
Thank you for sharing your wisdom in regard to lesson planing with all of us .You can never know enough about this topic.

  • money55
  • Super Waygook

    • 277

    • July 05, 2011, 02:12:38 pm
    • south korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2011, 01:53:48 am »
some lessons plans work some lessons plan don't work.