This lesson adheres to the following Common Core State Standards for grades 6 – 12:

Text Types and Purposes:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2 (except 2.F)

Production and Distribution of Writing:



Your students will write a lesson plan they could use to teach a subject of their choice. Students will write for one of two purposes: to inform or to instruct.

General Information:

  • Grades: 6 – 12
  • Time allotted: at least one day
  • Best as homework

Note to Teacher:

You may wish to set limits on the subjects your students are allowed to write about, or you may wish to require students to submit their subject for your approval before beginning their assignments. Doing so may ensure that students write about subjects of suitable complexity.

This lesson is probably more suitable for homework than in-class work.

Teaching Instructions:

  1. Tell students that their assignment is to write a lesson they could use to teach a subject of their choice.
  2. Tell students that there are two ways to achieve this goal: they could write a lecture on their subject (to inform) or they could write a how-to guide on their subject (to instruct).
  3. Tell students to write their lessons so that they could be taught in the duration of one class period.
  4. Remind students that they must tailor their lesson to their audience. If they're writing about a subject that is uncommon, they shouldn't assume that their "students" (or you, the teacher!) know anything about the subject. The following advice might help your students:

    • Before you commit even a single word to paper, consider your audience! Think about what they're likely to know and not know about your subject, and write accordingly.
    • Define jargon or "domain-specific" words. For example: if you're writing about computer programming, it's likely you'll want to define for your "students" domain-specific terms such as global variable, statement, and return.
    • Visual aids can help explain complex subjects. You aren't required to make visual aids for this assignment (though if you want to, that's great), but if your lesson would contain visual aids, you must at least describe what they would look like and cite the information contained on each.
  5. Tell students that they are writing as if they were a professional teacher — so they must use formal English conventions.
  6. Inform them that their lesson must contain the following elements:

    • Name of subject/topic
    • A one-paragraph overview of the subject that briefly explains the subject and defines the scope of the lesson
    • Detailed steps to follow to teach the lesson (this is, of course, the bulk of the assignment).
  7. Ask students to complete the assignment.


Students should be graded on the following elements:

  • Their coverage of the subject. Subject should be properly explained within its scope. Thus, if a student is teaching "The French Revolution," they're probably going to have a tough time fully explaining the subject. Better for the student to narrow her/his focus.
  • Clarity of writing
  • Style — did the student maintain a formal tone? Was he/she objective in describing his/her subject? Did he/she adhere to conventions of standard English?
  • Organization of ideas in the lesson — were ideas presented in a logical order? Were any necessary steps left out?
  • Use of jargon (if applicable) — were jargon terms defined for readers? Were the jargon terms used necessary to explain the subject?

Please share this lesson with your fellow teachers! Adapt and adjust it as your needs demand. If you use it online, we would appreciate credit and a link back. Thanks!