Lesson Planning Activity

Dr. Charles J. Rop, The University of Toledo

Goals and Objectives Study Guide

Teaching can be described as a triangular relationship between teachers, subject matter and students. In trying to bring subject matter and the student mind together, teachers need to be very careful to deeply understand not only subject matter, but also who the students is, what he or she knows and understands, and what engaged individuals can and should understand about the topics at hand (see "engaged learning"). Therefore, a teacher's life is filled with continual decision making. One vital set of decisions involves setting viable teaching goals and objectives. This study guide is designed to help you discover and practice the art of writing goals and objectives for your units and lessons. When you are finished with this activity, you will be ready to plan teaching strategies and hands-on/minds-on activities that promote engaged learning.

Step 1 Preliminaries

Are you planning a unit of lessons or an individual lesson?

What is the subject matter topic? For example, is it science, English, math or some integration of subjects? Be very specific.

What student outcomes can you expect? How will you determine what individual students already know about your topic? What do they need to know? What should they understand when they are finished with this unit or lesson?

Step 2 The central question with ideal student answer

Step 3 Checking what the standards say

Step 4 Writing lesson goals

After discussing what goals are and looking at some examples in class, write your own.

Goals sometimes begin with phrases like: Students will understand that..., Students will work cooperatively as they..., Students will learn to appreciate..., Students will inquire about...

Step 5 Writing lesson objectives

After discussing what objectives are and how they differ from goals, write your own.

Although goals are not necessarily measurable, objectives for student learning must be. Therefore, they must be reflected in your assessments of student learning outcomes. Write your objectives in age-appropriate language. Begin all objectives with phrases like: Students will be able to..., Students will..., Students will explain...

Step 6 Assessments of student knowledge

Write your assessments of student understanding. There are at least three forms of assessments to consider:

  1. Consider strategies for alternative assessments that can measure prior conceptions of your subject.
  2. Plan for assessment of student learning as the lesson or topic progresses.
  3. Decide on outcomes assessments for when students complete the lesson or unit.

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