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  • Writer's pictureThings Education

Everyone has a lesson plan...

...till they encounter unmotivated students.

Hello! Welcome to the 15th edition of Things in Education, the fortnightly newsletter through which we hope to share the latest in education research and developments in the form of accessible summaries and stories to help you in the classroom and at home.

Today's edition is a little different. It is a type of an experiment. This edition tries to summarise information on different aspects of lesson planning that we have written about over the last six months. Tell us if you like these summary or 'tying things together' editions! We have tried something new and would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment or write to us at


Lesson planning is an important skill and needs to be built over time. Experience in the classrooms makes lesson planning more refined and nuanced. Sometimes teachers say, "I had a great lesson plan. I knew what I was going to do every minute of the class." Lesson planning is not only about preparing material for every minute of class. It is about engaging and motivating students. Or to paraphrase the boxer Mike Tyson...

Everyone has a lesson plan till they encounter unmotivated students.

Lesson planning is a key skill for every teacher. Often, with the goal to engage and motivate students, teachers begin by looking for a fun, hands-on activity involving the topic of the day, and then plan the lesson around the activity. The hope is that if students have fun, they will learn. However, more often than not, lessons planned in such a manner will not lead to too much learning.

In the 9th edition of our newsletter, we recommended 4 key steps while designing a lesson plan that will lead to learning. For this, we use the analogy of planning a trek up a mountain.

You can read the detailed post at this link: Why planning for “fun” isn’t recommended…

"I love the articles/newsletters of Things Education. The one using trek as a metaphor for teaching (Why planning for fun isn’t recommended) was superb!" - Aparajita Endow

Making learning motivating and fun doesn’t always need hands-on activities. In fact, curiosity and problem-solving are much more motivating for students and lead to deeper learning. And so, as we plan our lessons, we can include problems for students to solve. In the 1st edition of our newsletter, we wrote about how we can help students fall in love with learning by increasing motivation with the right kinds of problems. Such a problem has the following characteristics:

You can read the detailed post at this link: Why do students dislike studying?

"This is brilliant! The problem must be challenging but solvable is a particularly nuanced point worth remembering." - Arvind Murali

At the same time, our lesson plans must be structured in such a way that we create a culture of curiosity in the classroom, that will allow students to let go of inhibitions and approach the problem with an open mind; while also ensuring that we scaffold the lesson in a manner that will support students in their problem solving and lead to deep understanding. In the 3rd edition of our newsletter, we recommended the following steps of scaffolding:

You can read the detailed post at this link: Why do students find it difficult to answer questions?

"Your newsletter was very good this time. I liked the way you broke down how to tackle a lesson. Giving examples works well." - Mridula Sahay

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Edition: 1.15

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