Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Five Step Lesson Plan Example

The five step lesson plan is an amazingly simple tool because is allows the teacher to focus in on what is really
important. Chunking material, using gestures, and ending with critical thinking, for example, are all part of this 
lesson plan that make it so amazing. here is one example of how I put it to use in my sixth-grade science class.

Step 1: Question
In this first step of the five step lesson plan, you present the students with a question. You want to engage 
students\ in the content and get them excited about what they are going to learn about.
Class-Yes. Pose a question to the class: What is a biome? Students tell their partner how excited they are to 
learn about biomes! Do a Teach-OK and tell your table partner everything that you know about the Earth, 
ecosystems, biomes, and the environment.

Step 2: Answer
In this step you want to give students a short, consice answer to the question. You will expand on it late, but
here you give the basics. This would be a great place to introduce a Power Pix. You can have students mirror
or mirror  with words as you explain this short chunk of information.
Class-Yes. As a review from the day before, explain that an ecosystem is a group of living and nonliving things
that interact. Mirror with words. Give gestures to show the sun being used by plants, plants being eaten by 
animals, animals being eaten by other animals, plants and animals using water, climate affecting all living things,
 etc. Teach-OK. Assess during the teach-ok, if students don't completely understand the definition of an 
ecosystem, go back and review again. When students are ready, move on to step 3.

Step 3: Expand the answer
This step gives students the bulk of the details for this concept. For complex concepts, you may have several
chunks of info to explain. If you do have multiple chunks, explain one piece and then do a Teach-OK for
 students to process the information.
Class-Yes. Have students close their eyes and imagine themselves as a forest. They are made of trees with 
leaves that turn color every fall, squirrels, insects, and coyotes, with warm summers and cold winters. Tell
them that all of the living and nonliving things inside them are in a perfect balance. There are enough resources
in your forest to keep all of the living things happy. Now have students open their eyes and look around. Tell
them that each person is an ecosystem Ask students who is a forest in Illinois? Who is a forest in California?
In Canada? In Australia? (When they raise their hand doesn't matter, this is just showing that similar forests 
can be found all over the world) Whose forest ad ten trees? Whose as a thousand trees? (Again, it doesn't' 
matter when they raise their hand, this is just showing that some ecosystems are small and some are big). 
Have students look all around the room, at each person, imagining that they are looking at similar forests from 
all around the world, some big, others small, but all with similar characteristics. With gestures, explain that a
biome is made of separate ecosystems from all over the world that have similar climate, animals, plants, etc. 
So if each student represents a deciduous forest from a different place in the world, then all of the students in
the class together make a biome. Teach-OK. Assess, reteach, and move on to step 4 when ready.

Step 4: Assess
There are several variations to this assessment step. The key is to do it quickly so that you get information 
quickly as to whether or not your class has learned the concept. Stand up/sit down, thumbs up/down, and 
whiteboards are all great low-tech ways to assess. SMART response clickers are another great way to
assess quickly if you have them in your classroom.
Class-Yes. Use thumbs up for true, thumbs down for false. Give 5-8 statements and ask students to thumbs
up/down for each statement. You may have students put heads down during this step. If reteaching is
necessary, go back to step 3. When students are ready, go on to step 5.

Step 5: Critical Thinking
This is, arguably, the most important step. It is in this step that students take the concept and internalize it. 
They make it their own. This is a great time to do writing (oral or on paper).
Class-Yes. Have pairs of students complete a because clapper sentence on a small whiteboard. Deserts are a
biome because... The pond in my backyard is not a biome because... When pairs finish, have them decide on
roles (one partner plays Smarty, the other plays Doofus) and have a conversation about the question "what is a
biome". When students are all finished, pair two groups up to work together, assign one group to be a "one"
and the other would be a "two". One's read their because clapper to the the two's. Two's then need to come 
up with an example popper to go with the sentence that the one's just shared. Then groups switch. Twos read
 their because clapper, one's give an example popper.

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