Meeting Learning Objectives Using Instructional Strategies & Content Selection

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In this lesson, we will learn how to select content and instructional strategies that are aligned to the standards, as well as the individual and collective needs of students.

Writing Lesson Plans

At first, lesson planning can seem like a daunting task. How can you be sure you are providing the very best for your students? Not only should the learning activities be aligned with the standards and assessments, but they must also engage the learner. Let's look at some strategies teachers can use to select content and learning strategies that contribute to student success.

Selecting Content

Selecting content requires some skill to meet the needs of all students. Content encompasses the standards and objectives that are outlined by the state as well as the curriculum resources that are used to help students master learning goals. Making good material-selections requires teachers to understand the standards, their students, and any constraints that may exist. Here are some important questions to keep in mind when choosing materials:

  • Are supplemental materials aligned with learning objectives? No matter how fun and engaging a lesson may be, if it does not match the standards, it is a distraction. First and foremost, content needs to be selected based on how well it teaches the things students need to learn.
  • Do students need prerequisite skills or background knowledge to proceed successfully? For example, students will have a hard time understanding conversations about the seven continents if they have not yet had any exposure to a world map or globe.
  • Is this relevant to my diverse student population? Select texts with multicultural characters and settings so that all students are able to connect to learning.
  • Are materials appropriate for the developmental and achievement levels of my students? Students disengage when they are taught with materials either too low or too high for them. Materials need to match the students' levels of understanding.
  • Is my information up-to-date? World politics change the map and scientific discoveries change what we know about the physical and natural world. For example, in April 2016, the Czech Republic voted to change its name to Czechia. Teachers need to stay current to provide students with the latest information.
  • Are the needed materials available? Incorporating a web-based research project may seem like a good idea, unless the school's technology does not support the lesson. Then, the technology gets in the way, inspiring frustration rather than engagement.

Instructional Strategies

Now that I know what to teach, how should I teach it? There are a variety of ways to present information to students. Which strategies a teacher chooses depends on the students, the objectives, and the desired outcome. Some key points to consider when selecting instructional strategies include:

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