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  • kbrown12
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • June 10, 2012, 08:14:19 pm
    • korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #80 on: July 06, 2012, 02:01:41 pm »
I don't really have a problem with coming up with good ideas. I have a problem creating a fun activity for my students that can actually benefit them. Anybody can do a fun activity but if they don't learn anything, what is the purpose? I've only been in Korea 3 months please help me.


Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #81 on: August 03, 2012, 01:59:51 pm »
Whew, guys- tell me about it. I have trouble with having too many ideas and not knowing how to edit or get them on paper. My greatest drawback is that I'm used to having an idea in my head of the direction I want things to go and , but I really struggle to get them down on paper in a sort of structured way that is accessible to others. I can spend HOURS (not just metaphorical/ emphasis hours. I mean the real ones made up of 60 minutes) on a single lesson plan. This post has been really helpful in narrowing down my wayward brain activity.

Thanks OP


  • anon717
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • February 07, 2012, 11:07:27 pm
    • US
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #82 on: August 10, 2012, 03:18:07 am »
I have always found that lesson planning becomes hard once you being to overthink and second-guess yourself.


Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #83 on: August 10, 2012, 06:39:04 am »
You have to see lesson planning as a guide only which can be changed during class or adapted to fit the situation in class.
HIP HOP IS NOT MUSIC


  • heyitslep
  • Super Waygook

    • 253

    • April 08, 2011, 04:51:52 pm
    • Near Cheongju
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #84 on: August 10, 2012, 09:51:22 pm »
Recognize your lesson plan as a set pattern. Whether the lesson is a week long or a month long, you can operate within set parameters. For example, you're always going to softball the introduction to the unit (if that's your style), then maybe 25% of the way through produce a more difficult activity. Then, at the end, you'll use activities that are essentially ungraded tests for the students. Honestly, when I firsdt started at this job, it took me all weekend to come up with a monthly lesson plan. These days? I can pump it out in 30-40 minutes (with the exception to unique games once every now and then)


Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #85 on: August 28, 2012, 09:08:16 am »
I did TESOL at uni and felt that it left me none the wiser with regard to planning my own lessons.  The majority of lectures concentrated on evolution of language, how babies learn to speak etc. and only 5-10% was about lesson planning.  And so it took coming to Korea and finding out for myself how best to teach.  I'm still in the clouds but experience is really the best teacher, it's true.

I don't know about others, but I have the most difficult time with 2nd Graders...1st and 3rd Graders are great, but 2nd Graders seem to be at that awkward age...Am I alone?

Thank you for this website and this post about how you plan.  It's how I do it and I'm glad I'm not alone...I thought I was being to detailed or something.  Even though I sometimes come up with nothing...always worrying about if they'll like it.


  • bluesky72
  • Adventurer

    • 35

    • August 18, 2011, 11:40:47 pm
    • Yeosu
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #86 on: September 07, 2012, 03:30:10 pm »
Hi - I teach at a middle school

I think the bigger problem for me anyways is to find MOTIVATION to even make a decent lesson.  Why do I bring this up?

When I first came to teach in Korea, I spent alot of time at school and often in my private time preparing lessons for my students.  I researched alot of ins and outs in English Grammar, prepared games and spent alot of time making and updating my Powerpoint lessons.  What I've learned though, is that no matter how good of a lesson you prepare, often students won't care - I would say about 90% of them just don't want to study English.  My teachers would say "oh, they don't understand you", but I would dumb down my English to a very basic level and I still would get little response - they'd rather talk to their friends or throw paper planes around or do some other goof off activity like that.  I would try to discipline them, but then I would get complaints from teachers about me disciplining students, henceforth, in some classes I would have difficult time getting anything done.

Later on I found the reason WHY this is happening:  your class isn't worth anything when it comes to their actual grades.  In my case, my class accounted for only 6% of the overall English class grade that they received.  Then the question is: if a student knows that he still can get an "A" grade even if he gets a "0" in your class then why would he/she care to study - if you were in their shoes would you invest any time in the foreign teacher's class?  They don't have to do anything and have little incentive to do so.  Now, if your class accounted for lets say 30% of their overall grade then they would pay attention, give respect and not goof off in your class.

Considering all of this, why should I be motivated to create a decent lesson?  I can just have students follow the book and still get paid the same as the guy who creates super-graphics powerpoint presentations.  There is no incentive because it is like throwing pearls to pigs and dogs who trample on them and then are still angry with you.

I already decided that this will be my last year in Korea - I still need to keep this job in order to pay my bills . . .which in the end is the only unltimate incentive to do just enough not to peev off the school and keep your job.  In my free time I'm studying other things which I hope will let me get a different and hopefully better job less than a year from now.  Some of you might think that perhaps I'm a bad teacher - you're entitled to your opinion.  In fact I'm willing to step aside and go do something else as soon as find "the" something-else-to-do-for-a-living.


  • beautyjy
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • July 27, 2012, 12:40:33 pm
    • Paju, South Korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #87 on: November 06, 2012, 02:41:47 pm »
Right. I heard about this site from the native teacher in my school. It's cool~


  • noda21k
  • Explorer

    • 7

    • September 05, 2012, 01:03:06 pm
    • incheon south korea
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #88 on: November 06, 2012, 02:58:27 pm »
Considering all of this, why should I be motivated to create a decent lesson?

I feel the same way.  In fact, after reading earlier posts, I find myself wondering how many times a week you all see your students??  I see students once a week and have to cover a book chapter/unit in 2-3 classes.  This means vocabulary one class, a topic/grammar thing the next class and then maybe a review game.

I don't have time for units on my own topics and believe me, I'd love to do them.  Whenever I'd taught an ESL unit in the past in the USA, my students loved it.  I did nursery rhymes with Kindergarteners, jobs with first and second graders, caves with third graders and War of the Worlds and the Civil Rights movement with high schoolers.

I can't teach units like this here.  Not only because resources are hard to find (and I don't have the craft supplies like I did at home), but also because I am expected to teach only vocabulary related to the units and have to try to connect the second class to the unit too.  When I taught a class on Halloween, I was asked why I was teaching it.... because Halloween is an important American tradition!! And its fun!!

So while I agree with all the ideas on here about lesson planning.  I just fail to see how this is relevant for us out in the public schools seeing 700 kids each week... just saying... My lesson planning skills are good (I've been complimented many times), but even my skills don't work well when subjected to such time constraints.  And like bluesky said, why bother?  The kids don't feel my class is important, so I might as well just plan games and get them to speak a little bit.

Now my winter/summer camps.... *rubs hands together*  Getting excited for those!!!


Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #89 on: February 04, 2013, 12:46:39 pm »
I think everyone's situation is different. I work in a small elementary, public school and there are some classes in which I have no textbooks and no curriculum. I have to plan everything on my own. The module presented here is perfect. I just wished that I found this and read this a year ago. Then my time wouldn't have been so miserable. I was struggling so badly about what to do every single class. I played games to supplement the other class, which is taught by my co-teacher. That is the class with the curriculum and a textbook.

I had such a hard time coming up with ideas. I stayed up at night until 1 or 2 am trying to think of something that the students would be interested in, especially for those horrifying grade 6 kids, who don't wanna do anything or study anything.

They play a lot of ppt games in my co-teacher's class and so right after her class, they get tired and less excited. Anyhow, thanks so much for the summary about lesson planning! It will help tons of people out there. 


Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #90 on: March 03, 2014, 08:55:01 am »
Lesson planning can be hard only to a certain degree. It is usually harder when you have to plan from scratch, and even harder when you have to plan a series of lessons over a period of time, based on a unit.

My lesson planning is based on the school's curiculum. So when I plan my lessons, I use that as my source, but not everything I plan in my lesson is based on following the contents of the textbook, I come up with my own activities and games for the students. It's either my own thing, or I use resources from various teaching aids.

Also I plan my lessons on a daily basis, so that makes it easier for me. Most of all there
is no right or wrong template for a lesson plan.


Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #91 on: March 03, 2014, 09:13:43 am »
I prefer a very lose method related to the schools curiculum, and then when I have to plan (camps) I bust out a great camp in a couple of hours. Here's my tips for planning, but honestly, keep it relaxed (I don't plan often)

Key concepts:

Know what you want to teach, but keep it very basic. They key concepts/ target language should be at most 3 or 4 basic sentences. YES you will use higher language, YES the students will be able to hit those targets easily, but they hit the foundations which is always good.

Stay fluid. We all know how much of a pain open classes are because they're rigorous. A fluid class is the best, allow yourself time for jokes, for tangents for stories. If a student asks you a question, run with it. Chances are other students in the class feel the same.

Keep it interesting to YOU. Sod the students, when you make your own lessons without a book, keep the topics interesting to you. Interested in movies? Then use scenes from movies in your class, get them to act in a few basic scenes from a few movies. Like PC games? Throw in some LoL lines, or any game references and they'll love it, and you can run it in. No matter what you teach, have something in the lesson that you relate to, and you can relate it to the kids. You'll also be a MUCH better teacher for it, as you won't be bored.

Kids act according to you. If you're a teacher with little presence, the kids will play up. If you're enthusiastic, the kids will be. Plan a lesson to be fun, but manageable.


  • day104
  • Newgookin

    • 1

    • April 18, 2017, 02:46:33 pm
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #92 on: September 12, 2017, 11:25:59 am »
yeah, right. lesson planning is hard. specially, writting lesson planning is very hard.
Doing my first one for pre-practicum and damn, this is hard. I know what I'm supposed to be doing (UDL template, backwards design, MA state standards), but there's just so much to think about. My professor said we could write a "dream lesson" (no time limit, any population, etc), so I'm trying to write an inquiry lesson for a low-level SEI US History class. I'm not super happy with my unit objectives, I'm struggling to create assessment questions, and without those I can't come up with a good activity. Plus, primary sources from 1776 are not ELL-friendly as I only know a few strategies thus far. (This course is for an inclusive classroom, not the pullout SEI class I've been observing.) I've found some really helpful resources from Stanford, but I would essentially be recreating a lesson my mentor teacher did a few weeks ago/using a plan that somebody already created. Argh!
Or maybe this is hard because I'm 20 years old and I've only been observing a classroom for ~15 hours now.


  • hangook77
  • The Legend

    • 2027

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #93 on: April 08, 2020, 10:05:32 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... abcteach.com 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.

Wait?  This site was around in 2007?  Why did no one tell me this the first few years I was here?  Daves had nothing on this at the time.  First I heard of this site was 2011 or so.  (I think?)


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1341

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #94 on: May 06, 2020, 11:41:31 am »
You know it's an old thread when OP talks about messaging people via msn...


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4269

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #95 on: May 06, 2020, 11:46:40 am »
You know it's an old thread when OP talks about messaging people via msn...
a/s/l?


  • Kyndo
  • Moderator LVL 1

    • 1341

    • March 03, 2011, 09:45:24 am
    • Gyeongsangbuk-do
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #96 on: May 06, 2020, 11:58:14 am »
a/s/l?
The correct response to that was "yes" iirc.  :laugh:
« Last Edit: May 06, 2020, 12:17:07 pm by kyndo »


  • CO2
  • Waygook Lord

    • 6173

    • March 02, 2015, 03:41:14 pm
    • Uiwang
Re: Yes, Lesson Planning is Hard
« Reply #97 on: May 06, 2020, 12:12:34 pm »
The first thing to say is that this is definitely not pyramid selling, OK?