Lesson Planning Ideas

Here are a few tips to help you with lesson planning. If you need any help you can contact an Adult Literacy Program staff member for more assistance.

  • Allow several hours for planning, especially if you are new to tutoring.
  • Decide what skill you will teach, keeping in mind your learner’s competency levels, goals and interests.
  • To help define the learning objective, complete this statement: “By the end of this lesson, my learner will be able to __”.
  • Choose a variety of activities that include reading, writing, listening and speaking. Some of the activities should be designed for review or reinforcement.
  • Be aware of your learner’s particular learning style.
  • Choose textual material carefully, and involve your learner in making these choices, especially after the first few lessons.
  • Remember to emphasize a “real life” application of the skill you are teaching.
  • Think about how your learner will practice what you teach. Will you give homework? Does your learner have time to do homework?
  • Remember to include a break! Allow time to stretch, get a cup of coffee or just relax for several minutes.
  • Throughout the lesson, use your eyes and ears to discover which skills give your learner difficulty. Also ask your learner at the end of the lesson how things went. You may want to use a Tutor Log to record the highlights of the lesson and your ideas for what to do next. Remember that you will want to build on the skills you are teaching, and teach something new each time.

Choosing Materials

  • Readability levels are generally calculated based on word length and sentence length. The reader’s interest and background in a particular topic also affect the difficulty level of a given text.
  • You and your learner can use the “5-finger rule”: if there are more than 5 words on a page that are unknown, that book will probably frustrate your learner.
  • Encourage your learner to read outside of tutoring sessions and to bring in materials of interest.