Lesson Planning Videos

How do teachers plan their lessons? What sort of concerns and guidelines are central to how teachers plan?  How can teachers collaborate to create more effective and engaging lessons?

Lesson planning is an essential part of a teacher's job, but rarely something that is ever seen. This site seeks to make lesson planning visible by showing examples of teachers collaboratively planning lessons and units. We have a number of examples from across subjects and grades. 

Why Collaboration? For many teachers, lesson planning is something they do alone. This is a process that can be difficult to capture. When teachers collaborate they are likely produce better lessons and make their thinking visible to peers. Research on teacher collaboration shows that when teachers work together they produce better lessons, while enjoying the process. Whether it mean scheduling time before school or using video chat over the weekend, collaborative planning is worth the effort.  

How to use this site:  P
re-service and inservice teachers learning to write and implement curriculum will benefit from seeing teachers think-aloud. On each page, you will find our feedback about each planning segment. We suggestions for teacher educators on our Teachers Guide page.

If you want to find out more select the process of identifying videos or the origin of the project.

The Videos

 Elementary Lesson Planning             

5th Grade - History Westward Expansion
This video shows a team of three 5th grade teachers preparing a unit on US History and Westward Expansion. They discuss the standards and the key ideas in the unit as well as some of the activities and resources implemented in one teaching unit.

3rd Grade - Writing Fiction
In this video, 3rd grade teachers prepare a lesson that requires students to write short realistic fiction. Key information that the teachers would like to cover with the students includes the introduction to the content, gathering strategies, growing strategies (story boarding) drafting and editing, and finally the publishing and evaluation of the unit.

Kindergarten Reading

This lesson plan was based of the Kindergarten Treasures curriculum book. This school is a program improvement school, so it is highly suggested that they follow the curriculum exactly as it appears. This particular kindergarten classroom consisted of all students who were four years old when they entered the school year, meaning these were the youngest of the students. In the video, teachers plan language arts for the week and in the clip they discuss phonemic awareness, story telling, and reading. When discussing phonemic awareness they sorted through picture cards that had similar beginning sounds so that students would have to be able to identify which two cards out of three had the same beginning phoneme. For the story telling, students would see four large story cards which had pictures from different events in the story. Decodable readers were addressed for reading and which books the students were reading for the lesson.

 Secondary Lesson Planning

12th Grade US Government - Supreme Court
Two government teachers discuss a lesson plan about 18 Supreme Court cases. Each period will be assigned nine cases, and within each class, each group of four will be assigned one Supreme Court case. Students will have an extension menu from which to pick how they plan to present the case to their peers. Teachers discussion schedules and the logistics of student presentations.

11th Grade English and History - Junior Thesis
One high school English teacher and history teacher plan a school wide junior thesis project. By planning collaboratively they are able to connect ideas from both classes regarding post WWII America. Teachers discuss what their classes are working on, what documents students should look at, in addition to the logistics of getting the information to the students, research, and writing.

10th Grade World History - Causes of WWI
Two teachers prepare a lesson on the causes of World War I. They build their lesson around the acronym MANIA - Militarism, Alliances, Nationalism, Imperialism and Assassination with a graphic organizer. They discuss how to use primary sources to help students understand the events influencing the beginnings of World War I.

10th Grade World History - Industrialization
This video dissects the components of lesson planning for a 10th grade world history lesson. The objective of the lesson is help students analyze primary sources in order to evaluate the consequences of the Industrial Revolution in Japan and Russia. Students will deliver a powerpoint presentation with required content, as well as tweet the summary of the day's lesson.

7-8th Grade Art - Political Art Here two teachers discuss a political poster assignment. They discuss topics and artists relevant to positive propaganda. Students use information to create their own self portrait. They emphasize student engagement and how to bring in history and topics like social justice. The clip focuses on how studentconnect to the assignment and how they could use digital photography.

7th Grade Science - History of Life on Earth
In this particular video segment, two middle school Biology (7th grade) teachers are collaborating on a History of Life on Earth Timeline activity. The plan to use an online website and have students create a timeline measuring out 100 million years for each centimeter. They create a list of 18 events for students to date and label on their timelines. They start by looking at the teaching standards and discuss possible pitfalls that they have seen in prior years.

8th Grade Science - Buoyancy
This video shows a team of four physical science (8th grade) teachers planning lesson plan for a unit on buoyancy. They discuss how they have taught it in past years and how they would like to do a hands-on lab this year. Teachers are shown planning an introductory lab that uses a "diamond conversation" graphic organizer. They discuss how to support the learning needs of English learners as well as mainstream students.

View all video submissions >>