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Sample Writing Prompt

Lesson planning is an essential component of effective teaching. You are a mentor teacher
and your principal has asked you to help new teachers become more thoughtful and
productive in their lesson planning. Write a memo to the new teachers discussing the role
lesson planning plays in effective teaching. In your memo, include the types of information
that ought to be included in a lesson plan, the reasons why lesson plans are useful, and what
can happen if you do not sufficiently plan lessons.

Your response will be evaluated based on how well you communicate your message to the
intended audience, not on your personal opinions, position, or point of view. Your response
will be evaluated based on how well organized and focused your writing is, how well you
develop and elaborate on your ideas, and your grammar and mechanics.

Example of a “5” Response

Dear New Teachers,

Lesson plans are an essential tool for all successful teachers. As we seek to help students
learn we need to properly prepare so that we can deliver our message effectively. Principal
Clark has asked me to write this memo and discuss the importance of having a lesson plan.
This memo will first discuss what should be included in an effective lesson plan. It will then
cover why lesson plans are important, and lastly it will convey what the results may be if a
lesson plan is not created.

A successful lesson plan includes a clear and measurable objective. The objective is critical
when making the decision of what materials to cover. This objective should be delivered to
the class and is one sentence in length. The second part of the lesson plan is teaching the
material. This part of the lesson plan should be designed to facilitate student learning.
During this phase of preperation we as teachers need to know what we are teaching and
prepare for any questions that may arise. It is a good policy to know twice as much
information then you actually present. The third part of the lesson plan is measuring the
students learning. This part of the lesson is designed to give the students an opportunity to
demonstrate their knowledge of the material. The last part of the lesson plan is the
conclusion. The conclusion is designed to tie in the objective with what occured in class. The conclusion is often overlooked, but is critical in helping the students retain information.

Lessson plans are the time that we prepare a way to encourage student learning. Students
say that the 2 things that make great teachers are knowledge of the material and showing
personal interest. Creating a lesson plan is a key time to review material, learn new
approaches to teaching the subject, and preparing specific ideas to reach a class. This plan is
also designed to decide how to allocate the time that will be spent doing each activity.

As a teacher if you fail to plan you are planning to fail. Students know when a teacher is
unprepared and it affects student learning. If a lesson plan is not created the students are
often confused and the material is often presented in a disorganized manner. Also, the times
when the class is in a lull is when discipline problems arise. If a teacher fails to prepare a
lesson it is very likely that there will be times in class in which the students will be left with
nothing to do. The failure to prepare will not only affect the students, but will also cause
you to feel less satisfied with your ability to teach and help students learn.

As you can see I feel very strongly that lesson plans should be an everyday event. We owe it
to the kids to be prepared and to deliver the best message possible. Through effective
planning we can elevate our ability to teach and help our students reach their potential. I
appreciate all that you do and I will be available after school to talk more about these
concepts. If you have any comments or questions you can reach me at 555-9162. Thanks
again.

Sincerely,