Lesson plans are essential to a teacher’s success, so what could be better than a free lesson plan template? Longer summer breaks, no boring professional development days, and free coffee in the teacher’s lounge for starters, but unfortunately we have no control over that. What we can control, however, is the effectiveness of our own lesson plans.
Creating your own editable lesson plan template sounds like an arduous feat; yet, you can create your own free lesson plan template word document easily and within one sitting.
Planning Your Lesson Plans
As obvious as it sounds, you have to understand the shell of your own lesson plans before you can create a free lesson plan template. Perhaps your district or supervisor provides you with an outline that you must use, or maybe you are left to your own devices—either way, create a list of every item that must be included in your lesson plans.
For example, most lesson plans will include:
- At least one standard
- An objective (or two)
- Activities for the lesson, which will include: an engaging hook, a mini lesson or modeled activity, student time with the concept on their own, and then a meaningful closure activity
- Assessments, both formative and summative
- And a teacher reflection or summary
Once you categorize your lesson plans, you can then move on to create your own free lesson plan template.
Creating a Free Lesson Plan Template Word Document
Let’s first discuss how you can create a template using word document. Any version of Word Microsoft Office will do—you can also branch out into other applications, if you would like, but for our intents and purposes, let’s stick to Word for now.
As a novice teacher, it might be tempting to create lesson plans day-by-day. A lesson plan template for every day can easily be outlined with each of the components for your lesson listed in order to stand out—for example, in bold—with neat bullets to follow underneath.
However, eventually it is much more effective to visualize your week’s lesson plans at one glance. You can conveniently see the cohesiveness between plans, and you can allow for adjustments within your plans much more easily.
Planning your entire week out causes much more confusion, though, since you will have all of these daily plans multiplied into one word document. However, there are plenty of effortless ways to organize multiple days’ worth of lesson plans. Open up a blank Word document, and allow us to guide you through creating this free lesson plan template step-by-step.
First, change your page orientation to ‘Landscape.’ You can do this by going to the ‘Layout’ section of your document, and then clicking ‘Orientation’ and ‘Landscape.’ Typically, Word automatically formats in ‘Portrait,’ but it is advisable to change the format since you will need much more horizontal space in order to see each period for every day.
Next, create a table on Word. Select six rows, one for the top label row, and then five for each day of the week. Then, select X plus one number of columns for every period of your day. If your school functions on an alternating block A-B schedule, then select however many blocks are in a day—you can always add “A day” or “B day” underneath the day of the week.
Fill in your schedule using this chart. Perhaps you teach Geometry I first period, Algebra II during second and fourth period, you have a break every third period except Thursdays when you have Hall Duty, and fifth period is Calculus AP—talk about a busy schedule!
Once you have filled in your courses, copy and paste your lesson plan components underneath each course title.
Here is what the shell would look like for the fictitious teacher’s schedule we have created:
For the teacher described above, the margins between the days of the week and “Period 1” can be lessened, as well as the margins around the preparatory period. This adjustment allows for more space where the lesson plans belong.
The Benefits of Adopting This Free Lesson Plan Template
One benefit of adopting any of the various free lesson plan templates available online are simple—they’re free. Yet, this particular lesson plan template word document offers an array of unique benefits:
- Save Time—This free template for lesson plans allows you to save time in many different ways. Firstly, you can save the shell of your lesson plans, as a document, and then use it every week. Instead of creating the table repeatedly, you have a reference to simply “Save As” for all of your future plans.Also, if you have a repeat prep, for example the teacher we mentioned teaches two different sections of Algebra II, then you can simply type in “Same as period 2” within the second section’s box.In addition, this free lesson plan template also saves time for you as a reflective teacher. If you know that your period two Algebra II course ran late on Monday, then adjust Tuesday’s plan handily by cutting and pasting. Simply be sure to leave yourself a note in the “Reflections” section that you lost time. Perhaps you can even expand upon this note by describing what caused the lack in time management, and you can in turn go back and review a specific activity and adjust accordingly whenever you have time.
- Visual Cohesiveness—Staring at your day’s plans ahead of time can create a sense of cohesiveness for you as a professional planner. You can see the course of your day, and from there you can adjust plans. For example, if you can see a test in Geometry on Monday, then perhaps you can schedule your Calculus AP test for another day, so that you do not have too many tests to grade at once.Ultimately, this lesson plan word document template allows you to view more plans at once. In turn, this allows you to manage your plans in a supreme managerial manner that will only enhance your teaching.
The decision is up to you—even if you do not have control over your curriculum, you can still manage your lesson plans in a frugal and effective manner with any form of free lesson plan templates.