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Lesson Planning for teaching live online


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While there are many similarities between face-to-face lessons and online lessons, there are a lot of differences too. These things are the same: the basic structure of beginning, middle and end, the principles of good teaching, the importance of learning objectives and the need for explanations. However, the delivery is different, the interactions between learners are different and, more importantly, online learning is much more intense for everyone.


Converting face-to-face lessons to online ones is extremely difficult so it’s best to start your online lesson planning from scratch. Here’s a checklist to get you started.


Have you decided what you want the learners to achieve by the end of the lesson/course of lessons?  Do you know how you will present the new material? What tools will you use? (PowerPoint/audio/video/images/Word doc/coursebook)  Do you know how you will check your learners’ answers to the different activities?  Have you worked out how long each section will take?


Have a holding slide at the beginning, welcoming learners to the class. Include instructions of what they need for the lesson. Include a note to tell learners to test their microphone and video before beginning. Add the topic of the lesson.


Do a short warmer activity Display the lesson objectives on the screen. Do a short lead-in to the topic:  o learners brainstorm on paper what they already know, then hold it up to camera or shout out their ideas  o poll/quiz on the topic  o jumbled word/unclear picture – guess what it is  o give a letter – learners write down as many words related to the topic beginning with that letter  o learners say what they can see around them connected to the topic.


Use a PowerPoint slide/picture/video/realia/coursebook activity to introduce the topic. One huge advantage of online lessons is being able to plan your board work in advance. Use font size and colour to show different parts of speech and pronunciation, objects that move to show how sentences become questions, and images – all add to a good online lesson. Here are some ideas.


Grammar Provide a situation that involves the use of the grammar point. Elicit example sentences and show these in context. Annotate on screen or use bold/italics to show the grammar. Elicit the rules. Learners practise in context nominated in pairs/threes.


Reading Put a text on the screen. Set a timer. Learners mark where they got up to. Learners mark unknown words on screen. Learners use their own dictionary (online or paper) to look up new words. Discuss in chat/ nominated groups. Set comprehension questions


Listening Play video with audio off. Learners predict dialogue. Listen with audio and ask what was the same or different. Do a quiz/poll to answer comprehension questions.


Speaking Learners use fingers or puppets to act out a dialogue with microphones off, then nominate pairs or small groups to have the conversation in front of the others.


Writing Show a model. Use annotate to mark points of interest in the model. Give lots of examples. Learners do their own draft. Encourage them to ask each other for help.


 Use the shared whiteboard for a collaborative ending.  Use the chat for favourite words or new sentences.  Get learners to summarise the lesson