Lesson Plan
category: AG Lesson Plan

Design a lesson plan for a 60-minute class, in which you plan activities for students to discuss and engage with the readings and assignments done prior to class. Feel free to draw from the list of teaching ideas below, or draw upon your own experience or imagination. Your lesson plan should give each co-teacher clear and equal roles in facilitating class discussion and/or activities.  Reserve the first 5 minutes of our 90-minute session for announcements and the last 15 minutes for debriefing and feedback.

If you would like help planning your class, arrange a meeting with me at least a day in advance to talk about your lesson plan, goals, and objectives. You should complete your assigned readings prior to our meeting, but you do not need to have a plan in place.

At the beginning or end of your plan, write a list of goals and objectives. Be realistic about what you can accomplish in 60 minutes (less than you think). While your goals can be idealistic (e.g. have fun, learn a lot), your objectives should be specific, measurable outcomes (e.g. discuss a specific text for 15 minutes, getting at least 3 people to contribute their interpretations).

Your lesson plan is due at the beginning of class on the day you co-teach. After you’ve had a good night’s sleep, submit a self-reflection, assessing to what extent you achieved your goals and objectives. Mention anything you are particularly proud of or feel good about, and list anything you would do differently the next time around. You may also want to include comments from the debrief, comparing your own assessment to what others said about the class.

I will not grade the class session, but will evaluate your lesson plan and self-reflections.

Ideas for Teaching

  • think of creative ways to use the classroom space, both for small group and full class activities;
  • create a post category, and ask people to post responses to a particular prompt, in order to get them “talking” about the readings before they come to class;
  • go around the room and ask for responses to a question, passage, or excerpt from a critical text;
  • ask one person a question, then ask the next to respond to the answer, and so on, in a chain;
  • bring in article abstracts or brief biographies NOT included in reading and have class apply them to the assigned readings;
  • bring in a primary source, such as a poem, story, newspaper article, law, map, or advertisement from the period, and use it to tie the readings to the historical context;
  • give a question or quotation and ask students to respond in writing, then mix it up: have each student read someone else’s response aloud and respond verbally to it;
  • set up a debate, giving each team 10-15 minutes to prepare;
  • role play as two real critics who disagree; try to convince classmates to join your “camp”;
  • divide the class into small groups or pairs, giving each a specific topic, then coming together to share insights;
  • develop a list of terms and ask students to choose one and show how it applies to the readings;
  • play Jeopardy (or some other game) to make sure people understand basic concepts before getting into discussion;
  • set up “sides,” asking students to take one of two opposed positions on an issue;
  • use “degree of agree”: left wall = completely agree with a statement, right = completely disagree; ask people to position themselves, then talk about where they stood and why;
  • do a “think, pair, share” exercise, in which students write down a few ideas, form pairs to discuss them, and then share their findings with the rest of the class.
  • show an illustration, a painting, or a video;
  • use the on-line magazine resources to test, refine, or challenge the arguments in the assigned readings;
  • assign prep pages and use them to generate class discussion;
  • have students annotate on hypothes.is, either before class, or to have a “silent discussion” in class.

Don’t limit yourselves to these ideas. Be creative! All of these ideas were developed for a regular old classroom. Who knows what we can do in the Avant-Garde?!