Deeper Dive: Lesson-Planning and Instructional Resources Highlighted in This Issue - ASCD
Skip to main content
ascd logo

July 1, 2021

Deeper Dive: Lesson-Planning and Instructional Resources Highlighted in This Issue

Lesson-planning and instructional resources on innovative lesson planning.

Instructional Strategies
Classroom Management
Illustration of teachers writing together on a computer

Strategic Use of Technology

Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom (ASCD, 2017) by Monica Burns. Burns share strategies, tools, and insights that teachers can use to effectively incorporate technology in the classroom, with an emphasis on the "three C's" of creation, curiosity, and collaboration.

Google Jamboard, a free whiteboard space, one of several open-ended creation tools that give students engaging ways to map out ideas or demonstrate their learning.

TED-Ed has collaborated with educators and TED speakers to create free video-based lessons, as well a tool to help teachers plan lessons based on short, engaging videos.

Addressing Learning Gaps

Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 Ways to Put All Students on the Road to Success by Suzy Pepper Rollins (ASCD, 2014). Rollins lays out a plan of action teachers can use to immediately move underperforming students in the right direction and differentiate instruction for all learners, without falling into the remediation trap.

"Prioritizing the Standards Using R.E.A.L. Criteria" by Tom W. Many and Ted Horrell (TEPSA NEWS, February 2014). Educators Many and Horrell outline a framework for identifying essential content standards—a key for targeted lesson and unit planning.

Teaching Innovation

The i5 Approach: Lesson Planning That Teaches Thinking and Fosters Innovation by Jane E. Pollock and Susan Hensley (2018, ASCD). Pollock and Hensley explain the five i's—information, images, interaction, inquiry, and innovation—and how they contribute to student learning. They provide step-by-step procedures for teaching 12 key thinking skills and share lesson examples from teachers who have successfully "i5'ed" their instruction.

High-Quality Lesson Planning (Quick Reference Guide) by Jane E. Pollock, Susan Hensley, and Laura Tolone (ASCD). In this brief guide, the authors present GANAG, a classroom-tested, five-step schema for planning effective instruction.

Evaluating Curriculum Units

Solving 25 Problems in Unit Design: How Do I Refine My Units to Enhance Student Learning? by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins (ASCD, 2015). In this short book, Wiggins and McTighe describe the 25 most common problems in unit design and recommend ways to fix them—and avoid them when planning new units.

Understanding by Design Video Series (ASCD). Based on the pioneering work by Wiggins and McTighe, this video series goes through the steps of designing curricular units that promote deep content understanding and provides an overview of the powerful concepts in Understanding by Design. Interviews with teachers describe real-world applications of the unit-planning process.

Designing Standards-Based Units

Charting a Course to Standards-Based Grading: What to Stop, What to Start, and Why It Matters by Tim R. Westerberg (ASCD, 2016). Former principal Westerberg outlines a framework, along with a continuum of options, to ensure alignment between stated curriculum, taught curriculum, and assessed curriculum.

"Five Professional Learning Transformations for a Post-COVID World" by Douglas Reeves (Educational Leadership, February 2021). Effective unit planning begins with identifying a limited number of overarching or enduring standards and moving from what Reeves calls "fragmentation to focus."

"Grades That Show What Students Know" by Robert Marzano and Tammy Heflebower (Educational Leadership, November 2011). This article on standards-based grading includes an example of a proficiency scale that that can be used for planning, assessment, and instruction.

Universal Design for Learning

The UDL Guidelines from CAST are a set of suggestions, presented in graphic-organizer format, that educators can use to ensure their lessons provide greater opportunities for student access and understanding. The guidelines are organized across the UDL domains of engagement, representation, and action/expression.

Socratic Seminars

The National Paideia Center, cofounded by the philosopher Mortimer J. Adler, offers teaching and planning resources on Socratic seminars.

Socratic Circles: Fostering Critical and Creative Thinking in Middle and High School by Matt Copeland (Stenhouse, 2004). This coaching guide offers straightforward answers to frequent questions on Socratic seminars.

Additional ASCD Resources

"Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects" (on-demand webinar). ASCD authors Jay McTighe, Kristina Doubet, and Eric Carbaugh offer in-depth advice and examples on planning for authentic performance tasks and longer projects in the classroom.

Improving Every Lesson With SEL by Jeffrey Benson (ASCD, 2021). Benson draws from his 40-plus years of experience as a teacher and administrator to provide explicit, step-by-step guidance on how to incorporate social and emotional learning into lesson planning—without imposing a separate SEL curriculum.

New Teacher's Companion (Chapter 7) by Gini Cunningham (ASCD, 2009). This chapter of Cunningham's foundational book for new teachers discusses the basic building blocks of lesson planning, including an eight-phase model that engages students by building on their knowledge.

ASCD is a community dedicated to educators' professional growth and well-being.

Let us help you put your vision into action.