Lesson Planning

Creating effective lesson plans is essential for providing learners with a meaningful learning experience. A well-designed lesson plan ensures that learning outcomes are clearly defined, activities are engaging and interactive, and assessments accurately measure learner progress. In this guide, we will explore the key steps to creating meaningful lesson plans that connect with learners’ prior knowledge, incorporate pre-assessment, and promote active learning. By following these guidelines, instructors can facilitate a dynamic and impactful learning environment that supports learners’ growth and achievement.

This learning guide includes the following materials:

The Key Strategies of Lesson Planning

This section delves into the essential strategies for creating effective lesson plans, covering topics such as setting clear learning objectives, backwards design, and ensuring instructional coherence.

Types of Lesson Plan

This section provides a brief overview of different types of lesson plans and offers templates for each, allowing instructors to choose the format that best suits their needs.

Aligning Your Lessons with Humber’s HLO Framework

Here, instructors will find guidance on aligning their lesson plans with Humber’s HLO (Humber Learning Outcomes) Framework, emphasizing key mindsets, critical thinking, career readiness, and promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

Lesson Plan Checklist

To ensure that lesson plans are comprehensive and inclusive, this section provides a handy checklist covering various elements, including learning objectives, review and connection, content delivery strategies, learning activities, review and formative assessment, equity considerations, diversity and inclusion, and closure and summative evaluation. By utilizing this checklist, instructors can ensure that their lesson plans effectively meet the needs of all learners.

The Key Strategies of Lesson Planning

Lesson planning serves as a roadmap for instructors, guiding them to deliver effective and engaging lessons. This section will provide information regarding the key strategies of lesson planning.

When Setting Up A Lesson

BOPPPS Model: The BOPPPS model is an instructional framework with six components:

  • Bridge,
  • Objective,
  • Pre-assessment,
  • Participatory learning,
  • Post-assessment, and
  • Summary.

It structures lessons by establishing relevance, stating objectives, assessing prior knowledge, engaging learners, evaluating understanding, and summarizing key points.

For more information, refer to the resource BOPPPS Model for Lesson Planning.

Clear Learning Objectives: Lesson planning enables instructors to establish explicit and measurable learning objectives. These objectives define what learners should be able to achieve by the end of a lesson or course. By setting specific goals, instructors can focus their teaching efforts on delivering content aligned with these objectives. Clear learning objectives also help learners understand the purpose and expectations of the lesson.

Backwards Design: Backwards Design involves starting with the desired learning outcomes and then planning instructional activities and assessments accordingly. This method ensures that lessons align with the intended goals, allowing for a purposeful and effective teaching and learning experience.

The process can be broken down into three steps:


Define the desired learning outcomes and identify the key points of learning. What do you want your learners to achieve by the end of the course?


Determine how learners will demonstrate that they have achieved these outcomes. What kind of evidence would indicate their knowledge and understanding? This evidence could be in the form of test results, written assignments, presentations, or projects.


Identify the materials and resources needed to support the learning process and the production of evidence. How will you approach instruction to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and skills?

You can use the following template to guide you through the Backwards Design Process.

Bridge-in/Connecting Learning from previous learning: Start the lesson by bridging the new material with the learners’ prior knowledge. Recap and review relevant concepts and skills from previous lessons to establish connections and create a foundation for new learning. This bridge-in activity will help learners see the relevance.

Pre-assessment: Conduct a pre-assessment to gauge learners’ existing knowledge, skills, and misconceptions related to the upcoming lesson. This can be in the form of a quiz, survey, discussion, or brief activity. Pre-assessments provide valuable insights into learners’ starting points, allowing you to tailor your instruction accordingly.

Throughout The Lesson

Ensure Enhanced Organization and Structure: A well-structured lesson plan provides a logical sequence of activities and content. It helps instructors organize their thoughts and ensure a coherent flow of information. A structured lesson allows learners to grasp concepts more easily as they progress through the material in a systematic manner.

Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction caters to variations in learner readiness, interests, and strengths by providing diverse learning pathways within a single classroom. These pathways may differ in terms of content, focus, activities, or outcomes.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in Lesson Planning: UDL is a framework that emphasizes creating inclusive and accessible learning environments. When applying UDL principles to lesson planning, instructors consider the diverse needs and abilities of all learners. By providing multiple means of representation, engagement, and expression, UDL ensures that learners can access and engage with the material in ways that work best for them.

Active Learner Engagement: Engaging learners actively in the learning process fosters deeper understanding and knowledge retention. Lesson planning empowers instructors to incorporate various interactive activities, such as group discussions, hands-on exercises, case studies, and problem-solving tasks. These activities encourage learners to participate actively, collaborate with peers, and apply their knowledge to real-life scenarios.

Assessment Alignment: Effective lesson planning includes aligning assessments with learning objectives. Instructors can design assessments that gauge learners’ understanding, skills, and progress towards the desired outcomes. Well-aligned assessments ensure that learners are evaluated based on what they have learned and provide valuable feedback for both instructors and learners. By aligning assessments with lesson objectives, instructors can accurately measure learner achievement and identify areas that may require additional support.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Lesson planning enables instructors to anticipate potential challenges, adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and make necessary adjustments during the teaching process.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (EDIB) in Lesson Planning: EDIB focuses on promoting fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for all learners. In lesson planning, incorporating EDIB principles means recognizing and valuing the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of learners. It involves designing learning activities and assessments that are culturally responsive, relevant, and free from bias. By creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment, instructors can enhance learner engagement, learning outcomes, and overall satisfaction.

By engaging in thorough lesson planning, instructors can create a dynamic and effective learning environment that supports learner success and achievement.

Lesson Plan Templates for each Mode of Delivery

Recognizing and understanding the different types of lesson plans is necessary for instructors seeking to cater to the distinct requirements of their learners. In this section, we will provide an explanation and template for various types of lesson plans.

In-Person Lesson Plan

In an in-person course, all classes take place on campus. Instructors and learners interact face-to-face, allowing for immediate feedback, collaboration, and active learning experiences.

You can access the In-Person Lesson Template below.

In-Person Lesson Plan

Hybrid Lesson Plan

A hybrid course combines in-person and online classes with a fixed schedule. Learners are required to attend synchronous classes at specific times during the semester, while other course components are delivered asynchronously. This format provides flexibility while still maintaining some in-person engagement.

This template is designed to guide the creation of the asynchronous online module component of a Hybrid Module.

For the live component of a course, please use the Online Synchronous Lesson Plan Template.

In-Person Lesson PlanRemote Asynchronous Lesson Plan

Online Asynchronous Lesson Plan

An online asynchronous course has no fixed class schedule. Learners engage with course content and interact with their peers and instructors at their own pace and time. This format provides flexibility for learners to manage their learning independently.

You can access the Asynchronous Lesson Plan below.

Asynchronous Lesson Plan

Click here for an Online Asynchronous Lesson Plan Template.

This template is designed to guide the creation of the asynchronous online component. You can access the Asynchronous Module Template below.

Asynchronous Module Template

Interested in learning more? Humber offers a free professional development course that focuses on designing an online course.

Online Synchronous Lesson Plan

An online synchronous course is conducted fully online and follows a fixed schedule. Both instructors and learners participate in real-time through virtual platforms, allowing for interactive discussions, lectures, and collaborative activities.

You can access the Online Synchronous Lesson Plan Template below.

Online Synchronous Lesson Plan

Flexible Lesson Plan

A flexible course is delivered on campus, with learners having the choice to attend in-person or join remotely in real-time using virtual web-conferencing tools. This format accommodates learners’ preferences and circumstances while still providing a live learning experience.

You can access the Flexible Lesson Plan Template.

Flexible Lesson Plan

Interested in learning more? Humber offers a free professional development course that focuses on designing an online course.

Aligning Your Lessons With Humber’s HLO Framework

The HLO (Humber Learning Outcomes) Framework encompasses Humber’s overarching principles and institutional priorities. HLOs support the development of the key mindsets and skills which are designed to prepare learners to be career-ready global citizens.

To ensure that your lessons align with Humber’s HLO (Humber Learning Outcomes) Framework, instructors should consider the following guidelines:

Promote Key Mindsets: Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Make sure the lesson respects and promotes these values. Diversify materials and examples to reflect different cultures, perspectives, and experiences.

Sustainability: Whenever possible, incorporate elements of sustainability into the lesson. Discuss how the subject matter relates to broader environmental or social sustainability.

Systems Thinking: Encourage learners to see the bigger picture. Foster a holistic view of the subject matter and its connection to other disciplines or real-world scenarios.

Cultivate Critical Thinking: The lesson should challenge learners’ thinking and encourage them to question, analyze, and evaluate information. Incorporate problem-solving activities that require learners to use strategic thinking, creativity and problem-solving.

Promote Ethical Awareness: Instructors should facilitate discussions on ethical considerations relevant to the subject matter. Additionally, they should encourage learners to reflect on the ethical implications of their actions and decisions.

Cultivate a Life-Long Learning Mindset: Instructors should foster a love for learning and empower learners to take ownership of their education. This can be achieved by providing opportunities for self-reflection, goal-setting, and continuous improvement.

Enhance Career Readiness: Instructors should connect the lesson to real-world applications and emphasize relevant skills for future careers. They should also provide insights into industry trends, workplace expectations, and opportunities for professional development.

To learn more about the Key Mindsets, Meta-Skills and Skills in Action that make up this framework, visit Our HLO Framework.

To learn more how faculty can incorporate the HLO Framework into their teaching, visit Humber Learning Outcomes in Action.

Lesson Plan Checklist

This checklist ensures your instructional unit is well-structured, learner-centered, and inclusive, promoting optimal learning outcomes. It incorporates Universal Design for Learning principles, providing flexibility and accessibility. It also integrates components of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, fostering a safe, accepting, and responsive environment. This comprehensive approach supports learner variability, promotes equity, and fosters a sense of belonging, leading to optimal learning outcomes for all learners.

Learning Objective(s):

Review and Connection:

Content Delivery Strategies:

Learning Activities:

Review and Formative Assessment:





Closure and Link to Summative Evaluation:


Georgian College. (n.d.). Lesson Planning. Retrieved from

Humber College. (n.d.). Humber Learning Outcomes (HLO). Retrieved from https://humber.ca/sustainability/humber-learning-outcomes-hlo

Queen’s University. (n.d.). BOPPPS Model for Lesson Planning. Retrieved from

University of Manitoba. (n.d.). Lesson Plans. Retrieved from

University of Waterloo. (n.d.). Planning Class. Retrieved from