COMS 930: Teaching the Basic CourseLesson Plan Assignment40 points


In this assignment, you will prepare a lesson plan, designed for a 50-minute class period,that you and your colleagues can use in the basic course. You will present your full 50minute plan in one of our teaching seminar sessions (schedule posted on Bb).

These lesson plans, because of the time and effort invested in creating them, will be avaluable resource for your future teaching. I highly recommend putting them all in a three-ring binder (or something similar), where you can add relevant materials and newideas as they come your way.


The lesson plan assignment is intended to accomplish two primary objectives. First, itwill equip you with a useful framework (backward design) for creating well-targeted, student-centered lesson plans that address key learning objectives in the basic course.Second, it will give you the opportunity to practice and refine your teaching skills.


The assignment requires that you produce two documents, both of which will be posted to our class Blackboard site. The first document is a design analysis, and the second is thelesson plan.

Document 1: Design Analysis

In this paper, you’ll be documenting your planning process, using the principles outlined in the “Backward Design” article that we discussed in orientation (now available on Bb,if you need a copy.) Specifically, I’d like you to work through the three steps in Figure1.1, “Stages in the Backward Design Process” and the three circles in Figure 1.2,“Establishing Curricular Priorities.”

In the design analysis, you should identify your choices in each area of Figures 1 and 2(e.g., desired results, acceptable evidence, instructional activities in Figure 1.1, and your curricular priorities in Figure 1.2) and provide a clear and convincing justification for those choices. To execute this part of the assignment well, you’ll find it helpful to do thefollowing:

1) Read the “Backward Design” article carefully. The authors highlight a number

of important considerations that will help you figure out how to address each area

in the figures most thoughtfully.

Basic Course Seminar, Fall 2009 (Bruss)

2) Consult resources (a minimum of three) other than the Zarefsky text for ideasabout how to present your topic. These resources might include (but are notlimited to) lesson plans from other teachers (e.g., veteran COMS 130 instructors),other public speaking texts (available in the Basic Course Office), or yourinstructor’s manual for the Zarefsky text. It’s easier to make sound choices if you’re aware of a range of options.

3) Consider a variety of pedagogical strategies (e.g., imitation and modeling)when considering what will be make the greatest impact on student learning.

The design analysis paper will likely end up being in the 3-5 page range (including a“References” page; follow either APA or MLA style). You’ll post the paper toBlackboard, and two of your peers will read it and be prepared with comments on thenight of your presentation.

Document 2: Lesson Plan

After working through the design analysis, you’ll create a lesson plan that incorporatesyour decisions. The lesson plan should look like the type of plan you’d typically use, only perhaps a bit more formal (e.g., typed, not jotted on yellow legal pad paper) and detailed enough that other teachers can use it as a resource. You’ll find an example in the lesson assignment folder on Bb. A 2-4 page plan (not including handouts or other supplementalmaterials) should be sufficient.

Your lesson plan should include the following elements:

• objectives culled from your design analysis what do you expect students to know or be able to do as a result of this


gameplan (session outline)

not unlike a prep outline in public speaking, but you need not followthat rigid format; feel free to use bold, caps, italics, underlining, bullets,color, and white space for clarity and emphasis)

stage directions and/or explanatory notes are often helpful

supplemental materials handouts, if applicable descriptions and materials for activities, if those exercises are complex

(If they’re fairly straightforward, they can be described in the lesson itself.)

As you prepare your lesson plan, it may helpful first to sketch out what you want tocover, then figure out how best to arrange those elements and make them student-centered.

Basic Course Seminar, Fall 2009 (Bruss)

Posting to Blackboard

Your design analysis and lesson plan should be posted to the Blackboard site no later than noon on the Monday prior to your presentation. Before posting your work, be sure to proofread carefully; this lesson will be part of your colleagues’ permanent collection ofhelpful teaching resources. It should be prepared according to high professional standards.


Approach your presentation as if you are actually teaching the lesson. In other words,don’t tell us how to teach your lesson, but rather teach us as if we were COMS 130 students. You’ll have 50 minutes to present the lesson, after which we’ll devote 10-15 minutes to Q & A and discussion.


This assignment is worth 40 points, with points distributed as follows:

management of interaction/time

Element Points Criteria for Evaluation
Design Analysis 20 • completion of Figures 1 and 2• strength of justification knowledge of design principles knowledge of speech pedagogy sufficient research
• professional preparation
Lesson Plan and Presentation 20 • accuracy of information • clarity (easy to understand?)• coherence
• structure (logical?)• completeness• student-centeredness
• audience awareness/adaptation• speaking skills (good model?)

We’ll be talking about these criteria in class, but if you need anything clarified, please letme know.

Basic Course Seminar, Fall 2009 (Bruss)