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Universal Design for Learning Lesson Plan Template

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Universal design for learning is an excellent framework for making sure you are inclusive of all students. This lesson offers an overview of UDL and provides you with a template for planning lessons using UDL.

Universal Design for Learning

Universal design for learning is a framework that emphasizes the importance of designing lessons and curricular experiences that will be accessible for all students. Under UDL, if a student is not learning, the problem is not in the student but rather in the design of the lesson or curriculum. Because design is a key aspect of UDL, planning is of the utmost importance. When planning a UDL lesson, you want to think about what your goals and objectives are as well as what the needs of your students might be. You want to plan experiences and conversations that will help all students find different paths toward the same eventual objectives. This sort of planning can be challenging, but doing the appropriate work ahead of time goes a long way toward helping the lesson succeed.

This lesson offers you a template for planning a lesson using a UDL framework. It offers you an overview of the components of the lesson as well as some ideas about why each component is important.

Lesson Template

Goals and Objectives

UDL is predicated upon the notion of backward design; in other words, only by clearly defining where you want students to be at the end of the lesson can you do adequate planning. When you define your goals and objectives, state them clearly and succinctly, and make sure they make sense to you. It can be helpful to state goals and objectives in language that students themselves could understand. Do not try to incorporate more than three objectives into one lesson.

Materials

A huge part of UDL is ensuring that you have adequate materials on hand. When listing the materials you need, think about what helps different students succeed. For instance, if you are planning a writing lesson, consider having pencil grips available. If your lesson will involve a lot of sitting still, include sensory input materials in your plan.

Focus Lesson

A strong UDL lesson begins with a short period of time when all students are together, and you directly teach to the goals or objectives you have defined. When you plan your focus lesson, consider exactly what you want to communicate to students and what procedures will help you do this most clearly.

Accommodations

When you plan your focus lesson, write down any accommodations you will build in for particular students. For instance, will you preview vocabulary with three of your students beforehand? Will you seat particular students in the front of the room?

Enrichment

Part of planning a focus lesson under UDL is also considering the students who already know the basic content of the lesson. Write in your plans for these students. Will you give them an extra task to accomplish? Will you partner them with students who benefit from a buddy?

Workshop

A UDL lesson also includes an opportunity for students to work independently, in partnerships or in small groups to meet the goals and objectives. Make sure you plan exactly what you expect students to do during this time, and get specific about partnerships or groupings.

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