36 Lesson plan templates for teachers
Lesson planning, although rarely a favorite, is one of the most critical steps in the teaching process.
However, ask any teacher, and we’re sure they’ll come up with a full list of tedious activities they would choose over lesson planning any time.
If you’re one of the teachers that can’t keep track of any more lesson plans and desperately need to cut down on their time spent creating lesson plans, we’re happy to tell you that you’ve come to the right place.
We’re bringing you 36 lesson plan templates that cover virtually every lesson, subject, and type of class you can possibly need, so you never have to worry about writing another lesson plan from scratch.
Before we dive into the lesson plan templates, we’ll quickly go over the lesson plan definition and list out the main components of a lesson plan.
Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What is a lesson plan?
A lesson plan is a document created by teachers that serves as a detailed outline of the lesson’s:
- Take home tasks,
- Pedagogical methods,
- Teacher’s expectations, and
In most cases, teachers will create and print out the lesson plans before the lesson and hand the copies out to students at the beginning of the lesson.
What is the importance of a lesson plan for teachers and students
Lesson plans’ benefits are multifold both for teachers and students.
When created properly, lesson plans help teachers:
- Execute a smooth and productive lesson,
- Make sure their lessons are well-structured,
- Achieve impeccable time management and planning,
- Ensure they cover all the main points in lectures,
- Be prepared for potential friction,
- Prepare the materials,
- Enable self-assessment, and
- Create reusable plans for future use.
Students benefit from professionally structured lesson plans as well. Great lesson plans help students:
- Understand what to expect,
- Be up to speed on the topics and modules that are planned to be covered in a lesson, and
- Keep up with all the materials needed during a lesson.
Lesson plans can be made for a single lesson, a day, a week, or an entire unit. However, regardless of what time period, subject, or topic they cover, every lesson plan includes the 5 key elements.
Let’s get a detailed breakdown of these 5 main components of a lesson plan.
What are the key components of a lesson plan?
Depending on the facility you work at and your personal style and preferences, you can make your lesson plans more or less personalized and stylized.
However, regardless of your specific approach, it’s important to always keep in mind the 5 main parts of a lesson plan and structure your lesson plan templates around these.
The 5 critical components of a lesson plan are:
- Subject area — the topic you’re focusing on for the duration of the lesson,
- Standards alignment — ensuring your lessons are aligned to state standards,
- Goals and objectives — targets you are trying to achieve and how the students will get there,
- Procedure — any activities and experiences allowing students to practice, engage in, and get feedback on to progress toward lesson objectives, and
- Assessment — tests and problem sets for students to practice their skills and knowledge and for teachers to provide constructive feedback.
Lesson plan templates for teachers
Now that we’ve covered all the basic elements of lesson plans and their importance, it’s time to help you get started with lesson planning like a pro with our comprehensive list of 36 lesson plan templates in 9 categories.
So, let’s get straight into it and help spark your inspiration and turn the mundane task of lesson planning into a super creative endeavor.
Category #1: Best lesson plan templates in general
For our first category, we’ve compiled a list of the best editable lesson plan templates in general that can be applied universally across multiple lesson types.
Depending on your specific lesson and class type, you can use some (or all) of these printable and editable lesson plan templates with some adjustments and write your lesson plans in a matter of minutes.
Template #1: Blank lesson plan template
For starters, let’s kick things off with the most universal blank lesson plan template.
The reason we’re starting our round of lesson plan templates with this precise template is that it’s super versatile and adjustable for multiple lesson types, subjects, grade levels, and time periods.
Use a blank lesson plan template when you need a simple but super editable lesson plan.
Template #2: Simple lesson plan template
Speaking of simplicity, our next lesson plan template is designed to serve those instances when you need a simple lesson plan outline you can quickly fill out.
Here’s our take on the simple lesson plan template idea. Use it for inspiration to create your own simple lesson plan template you can use any time you need to cover the lesson plan basics.
Template #3: Small group lesson plan template
Planning a small group teaching session comes with its unique set of challenges and benefits. Teaching a small group of up to 5 students, for example, most certainly requires a somewhat different approach than preparing a lesson plan for a full classroom of around 20 students.
Ideally, small group settings are ripe with opportunities for:
- Sufficient practice,
- Equal active participation of all group members,
- More successful teamwork activities, and
- The provision of feedback.
To maximize and encourage all of these small group opportunities, you need to properly customize your lesson plans to fit the small group setting.
Here’s our idea on how you can structure your small group lesson plan. Use our editable template as inspiration to customize your lesson plan, or use our entire structure and print out your completed small group lesson plan templates.
Template #4: Special education lesson plan template
When it comes to special education lesson planning, it’s important to keep in mind a couple of specific pointers that will help you adjust your lesson planning approach to better accommodate the special education class needs.
To write a perfect special education lesson plan, be sure to:
- Meet the diverse needs and abilities of each individual student,
- Keep the students’ specific learning objectives in mind,
- Promote active learning through engaging activities,
- Define clear objectives,
- Facilitate meaningful closure activities, and
- Address IEP (Individualized Education Program) goals.
In line with this, it’s important to note that special education lesson plans lend themselves to highly specific and unique formats. However, if you’re a special ed teacher beginner and not exactly sure where to start, we can help you out.
Use our special education lesson plan templates to draw inspiration on how to structure your lessons. You can use the editable version and customize it to fit the requirements of your group, lesson, and objectives.
Template #5: Mini lesson plan template
If you’re looking for a quick basic mini lesson plan template you can use as a starting point, we’ve got you covered.
Use our mini lesson plan template as a base structure and customize it for multiple lesson types, featuring the basic lesson plan components, including:
- Learning objectives,
- Tasks, and
Template #6: Homeschool lesson plan template
The best and simultaneously the worst thing about homeschool lesson planning is that it allows for unlimited flexibility.
I’m sure we can all agree that homeschooling is a slippery slope to a disorganized mess of an education if you’re not paying attention. You’re having the most amazing weather? The Math test can wait while you hop on your (educational) field trip to the nearest park.
So, to help you design a perfectly structured curriculum for your students at home, we’ve created a lesson plan template for homeschool lessons. Use it each time you need a little extra help navigating the challenging waters of homeschooling.
Template #7: Creative curriculum lesson plan template
Creative curriculum lessons are a great way to develop students’ critical thinking skills and build their confidence through engaging in hands-on activities.
To engage your preschool students to think creatively and explore the world around them through an interactive program of activities, your creative curriculum lesson plan templates will include the key components that rely on using strategies such as:
- Performing arts,
- Field trips,
- Guest lectures, and
- Use of multimedia.
If you need some additional inspiration to get you started with your creative curriculum lesson planning journey, you can consult our example creative curriculum lesson plan template below.
Category #2: Lesson plan templates by time period
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to design and organize your lesson plans by different time periods, you’re in for a treat.
Our following section offers 7 lesson plan templates you can use to write and organize your lesson plans by:
- Semester, and
So, without further ado, let’s get started on your more structured lesson-planning journey.
Use our following lesson plan templates to have your lessons organized and ready all year round.
Template #1: Daily lesson plan template
Looking for inspiration on how to design a more detailed lesson plan outlining the purpose, goals, and activities of your lessons during one specific day or over several days?
Use our comprehensive daily lesson plan template to help you organize your daily lesson activities and jot down all of your ideas and observations.
Template #2: Weekly lesson plan template
For a weekly lesson plan template, you can essentially opt for 2 different versions. You can either have:
- A weekly lesson plan comprised of 5 (or more) daily lesson plans, or
- A single weekly lesson plan template including 5 (or more) sections for each day.
Since we’ve already covered a daily lesson plan above, here, we’ll offer our take on a single weekly lesson plan template. Download it and feel free to customize it as you see fit.
Template #3: Bi-weekly lesson plan template
If you’re teaching bi-weekly lessons, be ready to put extra effort into lesson planning, since it’s your best shot at navigating the challenging bi-weekly lesson schedule.
When designing your bi-weekly lesson plans, you need to plan for plenty of activity and assessment time to ensure students are equipped with the needed knowledge and skills.
Moreover, bi-weekly lesson planning also comes with a special focus on homework and individual assignments. These need to be optimally challenging to allow for enough practice and use of the acquired knowledge, but not too difficult to entirely demotivate learners.
Here’s how we designed a bi-weekly lesson plan template with all the necessary elements that make up this particular lesson plan. Use it for inspiration to create your own, or feel free to use our printable version if you like our structure and find it fitting for your lessons.
Template #4: Monthly lesson plan template
Monthly lesson plans offer a bit broader perspective compared to daily and weekly lesson plans. For example, your monthly plan will include a general plan on:
- The topics you’d cover,
- Volume, dates, and formats of student assessment,
- Homework you’ll assign, and
- Types of resources you’ll use.
However, if we consider more long-term planning such as yearly plans, for example, we can see how monthly plans allow for plenty of specific details and categories you can include.
If you need some help coming up with a monthly lesson plan to structure your teaching, be sure to check out our monthly lesson plan template below.
Template #5: Quarterly lesson plan template
Another level in lesson plan organization by time period comes in the form of quarterly lesson plans.
This format lets you get a broader perspective on the lesson planning for each quarter. Quarterly lesson plans let you get the bigger picture and an overview of the most important learning goals and objectives for each marking period.
To get a clearer picture of what constitutes a quarterly lesson plan template, here’s how you can craft a quarterly lesson plan.
Template #6: Semester lesson plan template
Next up we have semester lesson planning, which again takes a broader form with components such as overall course and performance objectives, as well as grading policy.
In your semester lesson plan, you’ll include the following categories:
- Course objectives,
- Lesson plan outlines,
- Performance objectives,
- Classroom rules,
- Grading policy, and
- Resources and materials.
To have a detailed look and get inspiration for your own semester lesson planning, take a look (or download) our comprehensive semester lesson plan template.
Template #7: Yearly lesson plan template
As its name suggests, a yearly lesson plan requires planning for a full school year, including (but not limited to) categories such as:
- Learning objectives, and
- Specific outcomes.
Here’s an example of a yearly lesson plan template you can copy and paste and customize to your liking.
Category #3: Preschool lesson plan templates
Preschool lesson planning comes with a unique set of challenges and responsibilities, most of which have to do with:
- Ensuring a set of developmentally appropriate activities,
- Planning for enough free play time, and
- Being reflective and flexible to create space for individual goals, abilities, and interests.
To help you get started on your preschool lesson planning, here are some example templates to help you out.
Template #1: Weekly preschool lesson plan
Our first preschool lesson template offers a simple weekly lesson plan for preschool based on the overarching theme planned for that week broken down into activity sections.
Take a look to get inspired, or use our editable template version and customize it to fit your ideas and topics.
Template #2: Blank preschool lesson plan
If you’re looking for a more freeform preschool lesson plan template you can customize to your individual lessons, we have a solution for you.
Here’s some inspiration on how to craft a perfectly customizable blank preschool lesson plan.
Category #4: Kindergarten lesson plan templates
Lesson planning for kindergarten brings about a special responsibility no teacher wants to take for granted. You’re well aware that this is your students’ first experience with formal education, so you want to help them get off to a good start.
Although super creative and rewarding, lesson planning for kindergarten can also be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve prepared a couple of kindergarten lesson plan templates to help you get started.
Template #1: Weekly kindergarten lesson plan template
If you’re looking for a simple weekly template for a kindergarten lesson plan, you can consider using our next template either as a starting point or, you can copy and paste the full structure if it fits your lesson plan idea.
Template #2: Blank kindergarten lesson plan template
If, on the other hand, you are looking for a more flexible structure for individual kindergarten lesson planning, our next template might be more up your alley.
Use our following kindergarten lesson plan template when you need to kickstart your individual lesson structure. Edit and customize the template as you see fit.
Category #5: Elementary lesson plan templates
Elementary lesson planning offers more structured planning around a (usually) officially set timeline, and it puts more emphasis on how the sequence of the lesson activities promotes meaningful learning and engagement.
To help you get a better grasp of elementary lesson planning, we’ve designed 2 lesson plan template examples to illustrate these concepts and, hopefully, offer some inspiration.
Template #1: Weekly elementary lesson plan template
If you’re looking for a somewhat condensed version of a blank lesson plan structure, you can use our weekly elementary lesson plan template. It features the basics of elementary lesson planning with a full weekly lesson plan structure.
Template #2: Blank elementary lesson plan template
If you want a super flexible lesson plan template with plenty of space and options to structure your lesson plan components, you’ll find our first elementary lesson plan template valuable.
Use it as a customizable inspiration on how to organize your lesson sequence, or fill out and print the entire structure if it’s in line with what you had in mind.
Category #6: Middle school lesson plan templates
According to an Education Week article, middle school teachers are tasked with the beautiful and challenging assignment of providing middle school students space to cultivate and express their unique identity, independence, and individuality.
“As a middle school teacher, you should remove yourself from the center as the ‘all-knowing teacher’ and position yourself as someone who is guiding young people. You have to learn to share the space with young people. Middle school students want independence. They want the room to discover, wonder, and express themselves.”
Therefore, before you take up middle school lesson planning, the piece suggests that your job as a teacher is not only to teach the curriculum but to strive to better understand young people and their motivations and points of view.
To help you better understand the main concepts and facets that make up middle school teaching and nail lesson planning for this age group, we’ll use lesson plan templates to illustrate the main points.
Template #1: Creative project middle school lesson plan template
As we mentioned earlier, self-expression plays a critical role in middle school students’ developmental and educational journeys. Therefore, what better way to create an encouraging environment for the constructive expression of their identity than via a creative project-based lesson?
Use our template as an outline and let yourself and your students get creative.
Template #2: Weekly middle school lesson plan template
If you’re looking for a more standard and long-term middle school lesson plan, you will find our next lesson plan template useful.
In the example below, you can find a standard weekly middle school lesson plan template that features all the basic components of a lesson plan, plus an additional section for reflection, which should serve to encourage student feedback and self-reflection.
Category #7: High school lesson plan templates
One of the unique ways high school lesson planning differs from all the earlier educational level plans is that it promotes more space for individual and group learning during a lesson.
The role of the teacher in this interactive lesson environment is, therefore, more of a facilitator rather than a central figure who one-sidedly reproduces a script usually found in didactic learning or direct instruction.
So, to ensure you design an interactive learning environment for your high school students, you can use our lesson plan templates below and get the most out of your high school lesson planning.
Template #1: Single-lesson high school lesson plan template
Individual lesson plans most certainly allow for plenty of space to plan a personalized learning experience through differentiated instruction and other methods aimed at accommodating individual and interactive learning and individual learning abilities.
Take a look at our template below to get a better perspective and some ideas on how to structure single-lesson high school lesson plans.
Template #2: Weekly high school lesson plan template
A weekly version of a high school lesson plan template offers more condensed and long-term planning.
Use our lesson plan template below to organize your high school lessons in a coherent weekly outline.
Category #8: College lesson plan templates
College instruction may not be the first example that pops into your mind when you think of lesson planning. However, lesson plans are very much relevant in this type of teaching as well, with more or less adjusting in terms of important components and their sequence.
To get to the bottom of college lesson planning, we’re featuring 2 versions of the college lesson plan templates to help you get started.
Template #1: Standard college lesson plan template
A standard college lesson plan template offers an outline of the main components of college lesson planning such as:
- Behavioral objectives,
- Prerequisite knowledge,
- Assessment, and
- Follow up.
Take a look at our example template below for a complete look into a standard college lesson plan.
Template #2: Simple college lesson plan template
A simple college lesson plan template outlines the most essential components of college lesson planning structured around a topic.
Below you’ll find an example of a simple college lesson plan template you can use as inspiration and customize to your liking.
Category #9: School subjects lesson plan templates
When it comes to lesson plans for specific school subjects, they will, for the most part, follow the standard structure with the most important components of the conventional lesson plan.
Variations and specific distinctive features can be found in more practical categories such as:
- Teaching methods,
- Types of learning activities, and
- Types of materials, tools, and resources you use.
To help inspire your next batch of lesson plan templates, we’ve compiled a list of 10 editable lesson plan templates for specific school subjects. Use them as a starting point and customize them as you see fit, or fill them out and print the copies if they are in line with your vision.
Template #1: Math lesson plan template
As a Math teacher, you’re most certainly familiar with the challenge of translating complex math problems into a simpler language and concepts everyone can understand.
This is where lesson planning comes in handy, allowing you to think ahead and plan your lessons and activities in advance, thus making sure you can provide plenty of relevant examples and anticipate and better prepare for potential challenges.
That being said, you can use our Math lesson plan template below to help get you on the right lesson-planning track.
Template #2: Science lesson plan template
Teaching Science lends itself to planning for a variety of experimental activities, special materials, and engagement methods.
One of the greatest benefits of planning your Science lessons most certainly has to do with coming up with various creative experiments and ways to help your students grasp complex science concepts through hands-on learning activities.
To illustrate how this lesson preparation can look in practice, let’s take a look at our Science lesson plan template below.
Template #3: History lesson plan template
Engagement is one of the key indicators of a successful history lesson.
However, as a teacher, you know it’s something much easier said than done, especially in History lessons that don’t necessarily inspire students to relate to and engage with the majority of the curriculum.
This is why we’ve compiled our best tips on how to create engaging History lessons in our free History lesson template below. Use it as a basis for developing super fun History lessons.
Template #4: Geography lesson plan template
Unlike History (to some extent), Geography lessons are ripe with relevance and contemporary factors that can increase student interest and engagement when implemented properly.
Students can explore the world around them and globally while witnessing their own impact as humans on the world in real time.
So, if you’re looking for a Geography lesson plan that lets you structure engaging lessons, you can take a look at our template below.
Template #5: English lesson plan template
As an English teacher, you’re already enjoying the benefits of having some of the widest variety of themes, topics, and resources from which to draw inspiration and organize your English language lessons around.
It’s up to you to ensure the topics and context of your lessons align with your students’ age, interests, and abilities.
To give you an example of how you can structure a motivating and enjoyable lesson for your students to develop and practice their English language skills, we’ve designed an English lesson plan template that illustrates this format.
Template #6: Music lesson plan template
One of the most common challenges faced by Music teachers is staying on track and letting the specific goals guide their lessons, as opposed to going completely off script and with the flow up to the point of turning your lessons into a completely chaotic mess.
To ensure your lessons keep at least some semblance of a structure while still leaving enough room for creative improvisation, consider adding relevant lesson plan templates that can automate this process.
If you’re not sure where to start, worry not. We’ve designed a free editable lesson plan template that might be just what you need to kick-start your lesson planning journey.
Template #7: Art lesson plan template
Art lesson plans offer another unique angle specific for this subject with the majority of focus being on the engagement and exploration segments of the lesson.
As an Art teacher, you’re also familiar with the importance of detailed advanced material planning, as you don’t want your students to lack appropriate tools for the class.
Here’s an example of an Art lesson plan template you can use to organize your lessons.
Template #8: Biology lesson plan template
Luckily Biology lessons are already super engaging sessions with plenty of experiments, lab tests, and fun exploratory projects.
The trick here is to ensure you structure all of these in a perfect sequence to get the best results.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to organize your Biology lessons, feel free to use our editable lesson plan template below to help get you on the right track.
Template #9: Drama lesson plan template
Planning your Drama lessons is both super rewarding and creative, but it can also get quite overwhelming.
The trick to making your Drama lesson planning smooth sailing is to keep focused on your main goal(s) and objectives. Otherwise, you might get lost in the endless pool of Drama games and improvisation activities available.
Here’s our take on a Drama lesson plan that can both:
- Encourage students to explore and expand their imagination through engaging activities, and
- Keep a clear focus on achieving the main goal(s) of the lesson.
Use our editable Drama lesson plan template to define clear objectives and set your class up for success.
Template #10: Physical Education lesson plan template
As a PE teacher, you may have come across a common PE teaching conundrum — how do you actually determine the success of your PE lesson? And, how exactly do you get the most engagement from your students while compiling with the official standards, objectives, and expectations?
The trick lies in designing a strong structure for your PE lesson planning.
To help you achieve your teaching goals and deliver engaging PE lessons, we’ve created an editable Physical Education lesson plan template you can use whenever you need some extra inspiration in structuring your PE lessons for success.
How to create a lesson plan template
Now that we’ve covered almost any lesson plan example there is, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty of creating a lesson plan template.
In most cases, though, our comprehensive lesson plan templates should be enough to set the appropriate outline for your lesson planning.
However, you still might need some additional help reaching the finish line.
This is why we have compiled a list of best practices and expert tips to help answer some of your most pressing lesson-planning dilemmas.
Let’s dive in!
Tip #1: Set realistic goals and timing
Remember that classroom dynamics are not a fixed variable, and no amount of good intention will make you reach the main goal or activity if you miscalculated the time for the warm-up activity, for example.
Sure, realistic goal setting mainly depends on your experience as a teacher — however, even the less experienced instructors can still aim for simplicity and realistic aims.
When in doubt about the time estimates, it’s a good rule of thumb to plan for longer than you think you’ll need. According to our contributor, a College Prep Advisor and Founder at Advantage Ivy Tutoring, Christopher Hathaway, it’s best to always “account for more time than you think you’ll need.”
“It’s better to run out of time having engaged the students from start to finish than it is to scramble for filler. Students can sniff out busy work.”
Tip #2: Fill out the template as much as possible
The more time you spend thinking about your lesson plan and completing the lesson plan template before the lesson, the more bandwidth you’ll leave for the actual lesson delivery.
By getting to the minuscule details of your lesson beforehand, you’re ensuring you’re prepared for potential setbacks, and you also, paradoxically, feel more comfortable reading the room and improvising on the spot if the opportunity presents itself to go off script.
When you know you can always go back to your original structure, you get the confidence to play with different strategies and activities.
Tip #3: Keep your lessons student-centric
Another super important insight that comes from our contributor, Christopher Hathaway, reminds us to facilitate a student-centric approach to ensure maximum engagement and productivity:
“Classrooms have become increasingly student-centric, so unless you’re lecturing or working through a book, be prepared with questions to help generate conversation. All it takes is one great question to fuel an entire class period, but you might need to pose 10 or 20 before finding one that resonates.”
Hathaway explains why it’s important to pay attention to how the timing of the class impacts students’ attention and productivity:
“Be aware of when the class is taking place, and understand how that timing will impact the students. Is it the first period when some kids still have one foot in bed, or the last, when their minds are already fried? Always be conscious of the work that needs to be done, but remain sensitive to student needs, and be prepared to engage them in a different way with (relevant) one-off exercises if necessary.”
Tip #4: Make sure your lesson plans are clear and easy to follow
One other important tip to keep in mind when writing your lesson plans is that they shouldn’t only make sense to you, but others as well.
For example, there might be a time when you need a colleague to replace you and deliver your lessons for you. You’d want them to have a smooth and clear experience following your lesson plan.
Tip #5: Establish a routine
Writing lesson plans takes time and energy you’d probably much rather spend enjoying your time off instead of preparing for work.
This is why it’s paramount to do whatever it’s necessary to motivate yourself to include this activity in your regular weekly schedule.
Make it a routine to deliberately set aside some time each week to focus on developing your lesson plans. Before you know it, lesson planning will become a routine task and you’ll notice it getting easier and less time-consuming as you go on.
Tip #6: Leave room for improvisation
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that, although pivotal, lesson plans are not the end-all-be-all of teaching.
While it’s super valuable to have a detailed structure for your lessons you can fall back on, it’s equally important to keep your plan flexible and be ready to go with the flow of the class.
So, don’t forget to tailor your lesson plans on the go to accommodate individual student needs and abilities.
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Wrapping up: Lesson plan templates are the cornerstones of successful teaching
As we’re sure any teacher out there would admit, lesson plans are probably the last on the list of most enjoyable teaching-related tasks.
However, once you get the hang of designing effective lesson plans, they become an irreplaceable staple in your teaching arsenal.
Therefore, to ensure your lessons are structured for engagement and success, remember to design lesson plan templates that:
- Set realistic goals and timing,
- Are complete and detailed,
- Feature lessons that focus on student needs and abilities, and
- Are clear and easy to follow.
So, to secure engaging and structured lessons, use the templates we provided above to inspire you to get started on a lesson planning journey until it becomes second nature, and don’t forget to still leave at least some room for improvisation.