Planning an effective lesson takes time, effort, and an understanding of how children learn. Whether you are seeking CDA certification online for working in a preschool or for participating in a family child care program, you will need to be able to implement a number of meaningful elements into your lesson plans.
Your lesson needs to have a centralized theme. This can be part of an overarching theme across a unit or one all on its own, but it needs to be something that is easily identifiable as your main topic. It should also be interesting to kids while at the same time being conducive to teaching what they need to learn.
By and large, kids regard lectures as unbelievably boring. Children need strong visuals to help them grasp concepts and to keep their attention. Using visual aids such as paintings, sculptures, puppets, picture books, and even classroom decorations can help capture their attention and create a powerful learning environment.
Visual aids need not be stationary. Movement can help kids make associations that they wouldn’t make otherwise, all while helping keep their attention.
Children are active, so your lesson needs to have something that allows for that. Meaningful activities (see how the word “active” is in there?) should be incorporated into your lesson plan. If you’re learning about the alphabet, for example, you might consider doing a stacking game with alphabet-themed blocks to help them familiarize themselves with different letters.
Your activities need to be engaging, which can be accomplished with the following elements:
- Writing, drawing, or painting (fine motor)
- Getting up and moving (gross motor)
- Music, such as singing or playing instruments
- Sorting, counting, identifying objects, etc.
Simply put, you need to get them moving around. At the same time, the activity should be simple to explain and within the limits of your classroom management abilities.
When you bring theme, visuals, and activities together, you will have a strong methodology in place for helping children learn important skills.
Summary: Incorporating theme, visual aids, and activities into a lesson plan helps young children be more engaged in their learning.