Lesson Design

How to plan better lessons using a variety of models of instruction.

Context Clues and Classics

How to use a classic to revamp a study of context clues.

Lesson Makeover Event – Keynote

After looking at dozens of lessons folks sent in, I came up with three big ideas to address.

Engagement Isn’t The Goal

While "engagement" is fun, it shouldn't be our main goal.

Beyond Identifying a Story’s Problem and Solution

So your students can identify a story's problem and solution. Then what?

Comparing Strengths and Weaknesses

Go beyond merely explaining strengths and weaknesses and get students thinking in interesting ways.

Big Products, Little Thinking: Wax Museum

A big, impressive product doesn't mean that there was big, impressive thinking.

Comparing Fraction Strategies

Comparing fraction strategies? Let's take it even further!

Start High, Scaffold Down

A high level of thinking also requires the support of thoughtful scaffolding.

Depth and Complexity: Patterns and Quadrilaterals

Why just "identifying patterns" isn't deep enough.

Thinking Deeply About Famous Structures

Rather than just learning about one structure, let's climb Bloom's and think more deeply.

Why I Don’t Use “Create”

Why I don't use the word "Create" when writing objectives.

Creativity Beyond The Fluff

Just because a task is "creative" doesn't mean students are at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Models of Instruction: Inquiry Training

Part 3 of Models of Instruction

Want your students to ask better questions? Why not train them to inquire!?

Writing Concept Attainment Lessons

Part 2 of Models of Instruction

In a Concept Attainment lesson, we give students examples and non-examples of a concept -- without telling them what that concept is!

An Introduction to Models of Instruction

Part 1 of Models of Instruction

As a new teacher, I only knew one model of instruction: Direct Instruction. I was like a chef who only knew how to deep fry!

Building “Not Like The Others” Tasks

A delightfully ambiguous framework that is quick to prepare, but can last forever!

Complex Task: Subjective Graphs

What would it be like if students graphed characters from stories? Historic leaders? Elements from the period table? Objects in space?

Difficult vs Complex Tasks

What separates difficulty from complexity? And why do complex tasks lead to much more natural differentiation?

Writing Differentiated Lesson Objectives

My early lessons didn't even have objectives, let alone good objectives! Here's how to build four-part, differentiated lesson objectives.

Complex Task: Academic Tournaments

Who would win in the Tournament of Most Honorable Presidents or Least Useful Geometric Shapes or Bravest Shakespearean Characters? Create an academic tournament and watch your students' brains sweat!

Complex Task: What Would X Think of Y?

Here's a simple task that will add complexity to any content from any grade level!

Running A Group Investigation Lesson

Part 4 of Models of Instruction

Learn to lead a lesson that is built entirely on student curiosity.

An Inductive Exploration Of Geometry

With inductive thinking, students will work from parts to whole, discovering big ideas along the way!