Step 5:

Carry out the learning activity.

Guiding Question

What can I do to help learners understand the connection between skill-building and the overall purpose of the learning activity?

Step 5 is where you carry out the plan that has been developing in steps 1-4. Although you arrive at this point with a carefully crafted learning activity, being purposeful, contextual, and constructivist requires teachers to remain open and flexible as the lesson evolves, monitoring when to stick with the plan and when to shift course. Teaching also demands on-going decision-making about what materials to use, how to keep everyone engaged and challenged, and how to work around structural constraints such as open entry/open exit.

Lesson plans evolve as students discover new ideas and generate new questions. It’s important to plan carefully and then be open to modifications as the learning unfolds. It’s also important to be aware of when and how you are changing your plan – to make intentional decisions about what you’re changing and why. Here are some questions to consider when it looks like your class is moving away from the plan:

    Why are we drifting from the plan? Have needs changed? Is the work too challenging? How can we refocus?
    Does the direction we’re moving in still provide opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge relevant to student goals?

    How many students are served by changing the plan? Do most want to or only a few?