-Lesson Plan Critique – College Pal

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The purpose of this assignment is to help you look at a lesson plan and critically review it.
Instructions: Your task is to find a lesson plan in Middle Grades Math or Science (it can be
provided from your host/partner teacher, one you have created if you are a teacher of record in
your own classroom, or from the Internet). It can be any length – a specific lesson or an entire
unit – as long as it teaches a MG math or science standard. Then write a critique of that plan –
discuss its strengths and weaknesses according to the criteria listed below. You may even talk
about how you would modify the lesson. The main goal of any evaluation essay is to prove that
your assessment is valid.
Writing a critique: Writing an evaluation or critique is probably nothing completely new to
you, even if you’ve never done it for a lesson plan before. The basic idea behind any evaluation
is the same: establish a set of criteria that demonstrates what a high-quality example would be
like, then determine how your chosen lesson plan demonstrates those qualities.
In the case of evaluating a lesson plan, identify what makes a good lesson plan in general and
set it up for the reader. Don’t assume that you and the reader will use the same criteria – show
what you are basing your evaluation on. Then analyze the lesson plan you chose according to
what you have set up. What qualities does it have? What qualities are lacking? How could it
be improved? What’s the final judgment – is this a lesson plan you can use in some way (or
not)? Be sure to tell AND show – don’t just say the lesson plan is poorly timed (for example).
Show exactly what is poorly timed and explain why it is a problem.
Sources: The assignment requires you to use 3 sources in addition to the lesson plan itself (total
of 4). One of these sources must be from outside course materials and may not be a website.
(You may use the course materials or websites for the other 2, although all of the sources can
be from outside of the course if you wish.) Here are some suggestions for finding and/or using
this outside source:
• Look up a journal article (using ERIC or scholar.google.com) on the specific subject of the
lesson plan. For example, if your lesson plan is on 6th grade math, look up articles on
how to teach middle school mathematics. Use something from one of these articles to
help establish criteria – you aren’t just judging a general lesson plan, but judging
whether or not it effectively teaches the concept.
• Consult sources (books, articles) on aspects of formal lesson plans. For instance, almost
all lesson plans have objectives. Find out through your research how one is supposed to
write objectives. Use this as one of the qualities you evaluate.
• You do not have to agree with your sources. You can state what one source says about
lesson planning or the subject, then discuss why you don’t think it is right. For example,
if you have a lesson plan that you really like, but it goes against what your source says is
a good idea, argue for the lesson plan. Explain why the source is wrong. Make your
• Many other possibilities – please ask if you aren’t sure.
Use the questions to help you prepare a narrative response for your critique of a lesson plan:
1. Is adequate descriptive information provided that is clear, distinguishing the subject,
grade level, lesson topic and so forth?
2. Are lesson goals clearly stated, or easily inferred? What do they appear to be?
3. Are instructional objectives clearly stated or inferred? Do they seem obtainable?
4. Is the rationale for the lesson clear and justifiable (i.e., relevant to content standards?)
or does it seem to be up to you, the reviewer, to determine how this lesson might be
appropriate for the learner’s needs? Can you identify a rationale for this lesson (other
than “this seems like a fun lesson”)?
5. Is the plan’s content appropriate for this grade level?
6. Does the plan’s content contribute to achievement of the objectives?
7. Is the instructional plan workable, given the time frame and other logistical
considerations impacting the classroom?
8. Does the lesson engage students?
9. Does the lesson indicate how guided practice and differentiation will be provided to
10. Are assignments clear, manageable and related to the lesson objective(s)?
11. Is adequate closure provided to reinforce learning, convey a sense of completeness and
synthesize the content of the lesson?
12. Are materials and supplies suggested? Are they appropriate for the grade level,
adequate to meet the needs of all students and do they contribute to the lesson? Are
they readily and/or inexpensively available?
13. Is there evidence of formative/summative assessments suggested to provide observable
data to determine how much students have learned from the lesson and how well the
teacher accomplished the objective(s)?
14. Is the lesson plan constructed with other content areas to provide cross-curricular
15. Does the lesson fit the needs of students by attending to the total child – emotionally,
physically, mentally, socially, morally and ethically?
16. Other observations…

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