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Planning LACPs: Lesson, activity, center or project

Teachers should plan social studies by considering the following:

  • Rationale: A statement that justifies what you are teaching and why you are teaching it. Explain why it matters in terms of its meaning to students, the value of the subject content, opportunities for inquiry and its importance to the community and to society. 
  • Purposes/goals, objectives and standards: What do you want students to learn (know, appreciate, learn and apply)? What particular learning outcomes, concepts, skills and or dispositions are to be gained?


What you want the students to know (facts, information, processes, skills)
What you want the students to understand (Big Ideas, concepts, principles, generalizations)


What you want the students to be able to do as a result of this learning experience

Standards, benchmarks:

Curriculum Guidelines, or other key educational principles. This is a cut-and-paste operation:
        EXAMPLE: Michigan Standards http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/

        Benchmark SOC.II.5.HS.1 Explain how geography and major world processes influence major world events.  

Main social studies understandings and ideas to develop: What are the essential understandings or significant ideas developed in the lesson? What are the most important understandings about the topic that your students will need to develop, and how do these relate to one another, and to related skills, values and dispositions. These should be generalizable statements that explain the concepts and the relationships among concepts in the lesson.

Lesson content: Explain the central concepts and lesson content: What is the specific information and content that the lesson will convey to students? You could consider, for example, the concepts, underlying questions, ideas, data, forms of argument, major contentions and practical impacts of the proposed content you are teaching.  

Resources, preparation / materials: What books, materials, etc. do you need? What do you need to prepare ahead of time?

Adaptations: for Advanced, ESL, Special Education, restless kids, shy kids, etc. as needed for any diversity among your students doing this LACP.

Assessment:  (Are you doing any preassessment?) How will you know what meaning students are making and what conclusions are drawn during the lesson? What will you do/look for? Will you do any final assessment or create a product which will serve to indicate students’ understanding? Capacities? Judgments? Responses?  

Out-of-school learning: Opportunities to expand and enrich the curriculum outside of class (Home assignment): How will students apply what they learn in the school to out-of-school settings? What task or assignment will you give to students to complete outside of school?

Instructional sequence/Lesson flow What will happen? What instructional strategies will you use? You should list the steps, describing what both the teacher and students do during the lesson with discussion questions where appropriate. Make sure what happens addresses purpose and goals and make sure to bring the lesson to closure by summarizing the main ideas of the lesson.

Note: See the LAPC chart to see how you are diversifying instruction and social studies standards across a unit.