How to Write Lesson Plan Objectives

Four Parts:Structuring the Lesson Plan ObjectivesCreating the Lesson Plan ObjectivesFollowing the RulesUtilizing Material

Lesson plan objectives are important because they lay the framework for education, the intent of the education, and the manner in which assessments will be accomplished. Writing lesson plan objectives can be fun, but they can also be overwhelming, partially because of the pressure to help students succeed. With just a few short steps you can be well on your way to writing worthwhile lesson plan objectives in no time.

Part 1
Structuring the Lesson Plan Objectives

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    Consider the desired outcome of the class. Without a final objective, knowing what steps to create, and what assessments to measure is quite difficult. Focus on how to get students over the final accomplishment of the course.
    • Will the students do anything differently as a result of the course? Whether the final goal is to rewire a home or write a screenplay, knowing what students are expected to learn will ensure the required topics are included.
    • Include sufficient time to accomplish the objectives. The larger the goal, the more time required. Be realistic about the requirements and timeline.
    • Ensure the outcome is measurable. Either a student can solve the algebra problem with the provided instruction or they cannot.
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    Determine the delivery domain. Learning is generally divided into three domains: cognitive, psychomotor, and affective. Attempt to diversify the lesson plan objectives to be as inclusive as possible. Most education should probably include varying amounts of each so as to reach students’ more comprehensively.[1]
    • Cognitive lesson plans are thinking lesson plans. Students should be tasked with objectives that challenge their ability to recall and understand data, apply that knowledge towards a result, then analyze and evaluate it sufficiently that new branches of the concept can be created.
    • Affective lesson plans deal with students’ emotion, how they receive, reply, and categorize stimuli in a learning environment. Affective growth can be beneficial and accomplished in all disciplines, particularly where self-discipline and appreciation for teamwork can be utilized to improve self-worth and self-confidence.
    • Psychomotor learning is the physical ability to perform a skill requiring practice.[2] Lesson plan objectives can be anything from simple imitation (i.e. monkey see, monkey do) to articulate, precise movements requiring great skill, speed, and timing.[3]
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    Identify your students’ learning styles and tailor your objectives to them. There is no perfect teaching or learning style, and each person learns their own way. Knowing which method works best for your students could improve their understanding and ultimate competency.[4]
    • Visual learners may benefit from being closer to a less wordy presentation. Something with video, vibrant illustrations, or an in-class demonstration would be superb.[5]
    • Lectures will likely benefit auditory learners. Verbal interaction, even with oneself, aids with retention. Be sure to alternate speech patterns to keep the students interested.
    • Kinesthetic, which means “the sensation of movement or strain in muscles”[6], is the physical manner in which most people begin to learn as babies and young children. A great idea of kinesthetic arithmetic lessons would be to set up students as sellers and buyers, providing them with enough faux-money to pay for items and receive change.

Part 2
Creating the Lesson Plan Objectives

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    Compose an outline. The outline should contain the subject matter to be taught, the format by which it will be taught, and the sequence. Be sure to align outline details with the desired outcome and timeline of the class.
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    Maximize student abilities by including different teachings styles. Determine which portions of the lesson plan and which objectives will require presentations, which will be hands-on, etc.
    • If the objective is for students to understand a play's plot, they may benefit from acting out or watching portions of the play.
    • Striving for affective growth could be an objective accomplished through heated but cordial debate on a controversial, historical event.
    • Perhaps a see-saw could be used for a kinesthetic physics lesson. Write the objective to display the outcomes of adding more force or mass to one side of the see-saw.
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    Develop activities that meet the lesson plan objectives. Determine what the students currently know, then work on the steps required for coherency.[7] Large objectives can be broken down into daily objectives to reinforce the overall objective. Some objectives can be skipped if the students already comprehend the concept.
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    Build in evaluations. Whether you prefer pop-quizzes and weekly tests (i.e. formative), or comprehensive exams (i.e. summative), including assessments is paramount to the lesson plan objectives. Without measurement of some kind, it’s nearly impossible to determine if the students are learning.
    • Use minor objectives that help build towards the final, major objective. The evaluation may not necessarily be a test given to students.
    • Allow enough time for modification based on evaluations. If your students are struggling, it would be wise to alter lesson plans and objectives to either reinforce the concept through alternate instruction, or review the material already presented.[8]
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    Write the objectives. Structuring the objectives in a specific manner may more concisely breakdown what is desired. Try to follow a few basic practices such as the examples below:
    • Ensure objectives clarify final results instead of instruction type.[9]
    • Use action verbs (e.g. compare, contrast, align, categorize) that demonstrate what students are being asked to do.[10]
    • Avoid vague action verbs that do not effectively convey the requirements. Verbs such as "learn" do not really provide much guidance.

Part 3
Following the Rules

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    Follow state-wide practices. Determining if your state follows Common Core State Standards or not is an instrumental step to lesson plan objective creation. Some states follow all standards, others follow only the English Language Arts & Literacy portion, and a few do not follow Common Core at all. Follow your state's lead and promote the current philosophical teaching practice.[11]
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    Adopt teaching standards. Whether your location adheres to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) or some other organization's standards, utilize the accepted guidelines to ensure your objectives are professional, holistic, and support common standards.[12]
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    Abide with school policies. Local students may require specific types of instruction. Question local leaders, administrators, and peers regarding and school requirements exterior to aforementioned practices and standards.

Part 4
Utilizing Material

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    Design the objective with on-hand material in mind. The objective should be something possible with available material; so, create the required list (e.g. book numbers, pictures, A/V equipment). If the ultimate lesson plan objective is to accomplish something that can't be done with the materials on-hand, change the objective.
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    Use handouts. Handouts are standardized because you produce them, and each student has an equal starting point in terms of understanding the expectations and objectives. Further, they serve as a handy way for the students to build a reference file with examples for future reference.
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    Include visual stimulation. The lesson plan objective should be engaging, something the students want to achieve. Encourage them by showing how something can be done visually.


  • Consideration needs to be given for the best layout of the relationship between the trainer and the class. For instance, the classroom could be arranged in a V shape to allow the trainer to move in close proximity of the group. Or perhaps it would be better to have a typical row and aisle arrangement, with the instructor directly in front of the room allowing convenient use of a chalk or dry erase board.

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Categories: Creating Lesson Plans