bulbThe other day I was reintroduced to something I had seen a while back but forgotten about; the five minute lesson plan (   An excellent resource for planning lessons that is quick, focussed and clear yet effective.    I then came across a mention of the 5 minute lesson review (, which is equally quick and focussed.

This reminded me of De Bono’s book, simplicity.   As a fan of some of De Bono’s books, I can’t say I found simplicity to be one of his better works however in this case it got me thinking. I remember starting teaching with lessons plans listing the objectives, time, student activities and teacher activities.   Not long later I remember being told to add differentiation as a section to my plan.  This was to improve my plan by making sure I referenced how my lesson was to include differentiation.   A little bit further into my teaching career and SEN students and G&T students were added as boxes to fill in.   The lesson plan was 2 pages by this point.   Again, a little further on in my career and yet more columns, rows and boxes were added in order to further “improve” the lesson planning process.  References to blooms taxonomy, learning styles, etc. had to be included.   The process of planning a lesson by writing a plan now took time I didn’t have plus was a complex process, having become so in the quest for improvement.

But what is the core point of planning?   To me its the quest for outstanding lessons where learning takes place for all students.   Does the filling in of 100 different boxes help?   I don’t think so and those adopting the 5 minutes lesson plan seem to agree.

If we can over complicate something as simple as the lesson plan,  what else have we overcomplicated in the sphere of education?


Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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