Direct Instruction Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Direct instruction is possibly the most common teaching method. This lesson plan explores the nuances of this teaching method with the help of a video lesson. An activity asks students to demonstrate what they've learned.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define ''direct instruction''
  • Explain the process of direct instruction
  • List specific uses for direct instruction


60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).


  • Begin by writing the following question on the board for the class to see: ''If you wanted to teach someone how to jump rope, how would you go about it ?''
  • Go around the room asking students to share their responses to the question on the board.
    • How many of you indicated that you would explain the steps necessary to jump rope?
  • Explain that this is an example of direct instruction.
  • Play the video lesson Direct Instruction Teaching Method: Definition, Examples & Strategies for the class and pause it at 1:06.
    • What is ''direct instruction''?
    • Is direct instruction the best way to teach all subjects? Why or why not?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 2:11.
    • What is ''constructivism''?
    • How is constructivism different from direct instruction?
    • When is it best to use inquiry-based instruction?
  • Play the video lesson. Pause it at 3:18.
    • What does it mean to match the instruction to the task?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class.
  • Review key facts about direct instruction with the class before distributing paper copies of the worksheet from the associated video lesson to each of the students in class.
  • Instruct the students to work independently to complete the worksheet using the information they learned from the video lesson and class discussion to do so.

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