Formatting Lesson Plans: The Madeline Hunter Lesson Design Model

Many consider Madeline Hunter to be the mother of direct teaching methods. Her theories are embodied in this 8-step lesson plan format.

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Madeline Hunter is one of the most prominent educational theorists, particularly with respect to direct teaching. Her 8-step lesson plan format embodies her method, which many believe has stood the test of time.

The following is an outline of this plan. Following these steps may not only help educators develop effective lesson plans, but assist home school parents or tutors as well.

  1. Anticipatory Set (focus): This refers to a short activity that draws the students' attention before the lesson begins. This can be a handout, an example problem, or a simple question.
  2. Purpose (objective): The purpose outlines the objective of that day's lesson. Here the teacher emphasizes how students will benefit from the session and how they will go about learning from it.
  3. Input: Input refers to the vocabulary, skills and other concepts the teacher intends to incorporate in the session. It basically summarizes what students need to know in order to successfully master the lesson.
  4. Modeling (show): It's no secret that most students are only able to master a new lesson if the teacher has taken the time to show how it's done. Simply walk through a problem without student participation, allowing them to learn how its done.
  5. Guided Practice: Here, the teacher leads the students through the steps necessary to perform the skill emphasized using what is called the tripodal approach, or see/hear/do. Show the students how to successfully work through problems as they attempt to do it themselves.
  6. Check Understanding: Be sure your students understand the lesson. Ask students if they understand and answer their questions, then adjust the lesson pace accordingly.
  7. Independent Practice: Allow the students to practice completing lessons on their own, offering assistance when necessary. Be sure all students understand the lessons of the day, including any homework assignments.
  8. Closure: Wrap up the lesson. Ask the students to recap what you have taught them, telling or showing you what they have learned.
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