Declarative vs. Procedural Knowledge Lesson Plan

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

This lesson plan presents the concepts of declarative and procedural knowledge to teachers. The plan encourages the participants to actively engage in the concepts as well as plan their own methods of presentation.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Summarize the difference between declarative and procedural knowledge
  • Describe strategies to use in teaching the concept of declarative vs procedural knowledge
  • Develop unique activities and assessments designed to assess students' procedural and/or declarative knowledge in a given subject


2 hours (including student presentation time). Overall time depends on number of students in the class.

Key Terms

  • Procedural knowledge
  • Declarative knowledge



  • Ask students what type of knowledge they test when giving assessments to students:
    • Do you test declarative knowledge or procedural knowledge more often?
    • Which is more important?
    • Are these two types of knowledge exclusive to each other?
  • Tell students that today's lesson will focus procedural and declarative knowledge, how each works and in what ways they can be assessed in tandem.


  • Hand out transcripts of the video lesson Teaching Strategies for Declarative vs. Procedural Knowledge.
  • Begin the video lesson, pausing at time marker 1:48 to discuss:
    • Who can give other examples of assignments or assessments that would test a student's declarative knowledge?
    • What subjects are most conducive to declarative knowledge assessments?
  • Continue the video pausing at time marker 3:10. Ask:
    • What other activities test a student's procedural knowledge?
    • Can assessments actually be used to test procedural knowledge?
    • What subjects are most conducive to procedural assignments/assessments?
    • Can these two types of knowledge be combined in a single assessment/assignment?
  • Finish the video. Discuss:
    • How often do you think that assessments should contain both procedural and declarative assessment?
    • Is it possible to assess procedural knowledge in all subjects?
    • Is it necessary to test declarative knowledge in all subject areas? Why or why not?
  • Hand out the lesson quiz. Go over each question and answer with the class after they have finished it.


Up/Down - Active Game


  • The purpose of this activity is to allow students to experience a possible active game that their future students might play to become more familiar with declarative and procedural statements.




  • Students will need open space in which to complete this exercise.

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