Lesson planning for ECE classroom

One of the most important parts of teaching is being prepared and this includes lesson planning. Having a plan helps keep teaching deliberate and focused on what the children need. Thoughtfully curated lesson plans will ensure children have fun learning in developmentally appropriate ways, all while hitting benchmarks to prepare them for further classes.


  1. Think about the big picture. – What are the goals for the year? Think of it as monthly little goals that build upon one another to reach the big goals by the end of the school year.
  2. Be knowledgeable of your students’ current skills and know what skills they should be proficient in by the end of the school year. To write useful lesson plans, you need to establish your students’ skill sets in the different areas of development, including oral language and reading readiness, number awareness and math readiness, gross and fine motor skills, and social and emotional development.
  3. Have a flexible schedule. Schedules are important for children. They help children feel prepared by anticipating order and routines. But schedules do not have to be set in stone. Often the best schedules for young children are those that allow enough flexibility for children to have a say.
  4. Allow for student choices. Children love to make their own choices and allowing children opportunities to make choices encourages independence and critical thinking.
  5. Keep it developmentally appropriate. Not every teaching strategy is appropriate for preschoolers. They have shorter attention spans and a greater need to move and play than older children do, so keeping activities and games developmentally appropriate should be a top priority.


Identify purpose. If a lesson or activity is going to be included, it needs to have a specific purpose within the scope and sequence of skills. When choosing an activity to include in your lesson plans, ask yourself what skills it targets. And don’t forget that social and emotional skills, most often practiced through play, are of huge value to the development of the learners. Make sure to write specific objectives before proceeding towards the writing of the lesson plan as the objectives plays a crucial role as a foundation and helps structure the lesson plan further.

Keep activities simple. If you have to write out preschool activities in paragraphs of details, you’ve chosen the wrong activity. Don’t underestimate the value of a simple activity. If learners need something more complex, they will show you through their play, however, a single activity still shouldn’t take pages to write up.

Write it down. Use a template to record your ideas for your lesson plans. Add as much or as little detail as you want, but be sure it gets written down, even if it is just a list.

Plan around student interest. When planning, choose themes that are of high interest to the children in your class, and also consider how favorite activities can be incorporated into the theme, too.

Choose an approach. Play-based or skills-based? Teacher-directed or child-led?Yyour approach will vary based on the objective, and that is absolutely fine. The important thing to remember is to choose an approach that is appropriate for young learners.

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