How to Create an Effective Teaching Plan – Scheme of work

How to Create an Effective Teaching Plan: Apply a scheme of work and a lesson plan

For a teacher, planning refers to an effort to foresee and prepare for as many deliberate actions as possible. A scheme of work is the major planning tool for teachers.

With regards to schemes of work and lesson plans, an effective teaching plan involves:

  1. Selecting and organizing the subject matter to be taught.
  2. Choosing appropriate illustrations and analysis.
  3. Deciding on the amount of time to be devoted to each aspect of the lesson.
  4. Choosing the appropriate teaching methods to be used.
  5. Obtaining the necessary teaching aids.
  6. Checking the technology to be used.
  7. Outlining the procedures that will be followed to see the lesson to the end.

Advantages of an effective teaching plan

  • Helps the teacher to clarify her future thinking about the contribution of the subject to educational goals.
  • Ensures that relevant instructional materials are considered
  • Helps to make the teacher more resourceful in identifying the learners’ needs and interest so as to provide necessary motivation.
  • Reduces trial and error in teaching.
  • Ensures the use of more appropriate methods of teaching.
  • Presents opportunities for educational growth.

Planning for instructions cycle

The starting point for planning for teaching is consulting the curriculum then considering the syllabus from which the scheme of work is derived followed by conception of the lesson plan which will facilitate teaching for achievement of the set goals.

In order to effectively understand planning, we need to understand the terms curriculum, syllabus and scheme of work.

A curriculum comprises all experiences and programs of learning that are given under the guidance of a school. It includes all forms of activities, lessons, subjects and skills given under the responsibility of the school to contribute to the mental, social and physical development of the learner.

A syllabus is a broad sketch or outline of what is envisaged to be covered within a given level of learning for a certain period of time. It is usually developed for a particular level and is a blue print that includes the theme, sequence and depth of the content or materials to be covered and for how long.

A scheme of work is a careful, orderly and systematic program of action for attaining some specified objectives. It is a summarized forecast of work, which the teacher considers adequate for his class to cover within a given period from the topics set in the syllabus.

scheme of work
An example of a scheme of work

Factors to consider when preparing a scheme of work as part of an effective teaching plan

  • Syllabus.
  • Fraction of the term, semester or year which the scheme of work will cover.
  • Order of the different topics and sub-topics from the syllabus.
  • Term calendar and school, college interruptions such as holidays and term brakes.
  • Resource materials available for example reference materials.
  • Nature of examinations for the level being schemed for.
  • Experience from the previous year.
  • Syllabus content of related topics
  • Learners’ abilities, interest and entry behavior.

Components of a scheme of work

Minor components of a scheme of work

  • Name: Name of the teacher preparing the scheme of work.
  • Institution or school: Refers to the institution where one is teaching.
  • Subject: The subject which one is scheming for.
  • Level:
  • Class:
  • Term: Can be semester 1 or 2.
  • Number of students.
  • Date of preparation.
  • Date of revision: Refers to any review that is done to the scheme in order to accommodate the unforeseen interruptions.

Major components of a scheme of work

  • Syllabus topic: It is a section of the subject syllabus content to be covered in a period.
  • Sub topic : It is a sub division of syllabus topic and it should be large enough to be taught in a distinct lesson.
  • Week: It indicates when the lesson is to be covered.
  • Period: A subject may have one or more periods. For purposes of uniformity use the ordinal system which refers to the order in which periods of that subjects appear on the timetable.
  • Lesson title: It is derived from a subject topic. It constitutes what can be done in a lesson.
  • Objectives: They must be stated clearly and in measurable terms and should be stated in terms of what the learner will be able to do as a result of instruction. The objectives must be guided by one stem and they should be action verbs like define, explain, outline, calculate, compute, compare, describe, post, prepare and so on.

Objectives section

By the end of this topic, the learner should be able to:

  • define the terms capital, assets and liabilities.
  • classify capital, assets and liabilities.
  • calculate assets, capital and liabilities.

Note that the action verbs define, classify and calculate should be used only once.

Each lesson plan should have a minimum of 3 objectives and such objectives should be derived from actions such as calculate, outline, compare and illustrate

Key points section

There are sub-titles within a lesson title and are linked to title lesson objectives. They are central ideas around which the teaching will revolve or the main points the teacher expects to use in order to achieve the set objectives.

Application/activities section

These are learning experiences or tasks planned for the students to do during the teaching, within the classroom or outside the classroom. The teacher expects learners to put the concepts and skills they have learned into practical use during the lesson.

Such activities include:

  • Discussions.
  • Debates.
  • Assignments.
  • Observing a demonstration.
  • Writing a report.
  • Students doing a task in class.
  • Posting entries.
  • Preparing statements.

Homework/assignment must be indicated at the end of the application activities column.

Reference and teaching aids

References are resource materials which both the teacher and student may use in covering the content schemed for. They include textbooks, hand-outs and lab manuals. Teaching aids should at least be two per lesson and as much as possible use actual things for example samples of accounts, source documents and so on. An effective teaching plan must have reference and teaching aids.

Remarks and date taught

These shall be completed immediately the lesson is over. The teacher should indicate whether what was planned has been covered that is, well taught, the students answered questions well, learners participated well.

Conclusion on creating an effective teaching plan

Using a scheme of work and a lesson plan can significantly enhance the quality of planning and teaching in training institutions. It is noteworthy that examination bodies also required trainers to maintain these planning tools as part of the accreditation process. Moving forward, lecturers should enlighten themselves more on these tools as a value adding initiative for the learners.


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