Twitter story #1 – the Five Minute Lesson Plan from @TeacherToolkit


Submitted by Fiona Beal

Twitter is definitely a teacher’s best friend! The ideas…and CREATIVE ideas at that… that come from one’s Twitter PLN are phenomenal. For example in a recent tweet I saw that Mark Anderson (@ICTevangelist) recommended #FF (which means ‘follow’) @ict_magic and @teachertoolkit. Now I know  the wonderful @ict_magic (Martin Burett) virtually and follow him,  but didn’t know @Teachertoolkit so I looked at his profile. It turned out to be Ross Morrison McGill, an assistant Head Teacher from the UK, who has developed the popular 5 minute lesson plan to help teachers with the Ofsted teaching assessments in the UK.

I really liked the sound of a five-minute lesson plan because… this sounds like the answer to a busy teacher’s life – a great lesson plan in only five minutes!

What is the five minute lesson plan?

This 5 minute lesson plan has turned out to be hugely successful. Tes Resources advertise it like this “Now that Ofsted requires evidence of a ‘planned lesson’, you can reduce your lesson planning time and stay focussed on key learning phases within a lesson with this simple 5 Minute Lesson Plan resource.”


Here is a video explaining the five minute lesson plan from @TeacherToolkit (he presented it at a TeachMeet in the UK)

Hello everyone…

A closer look at the 5 minute lesson plan 


Take a look at @TeacherToolkit’s website on the five minute lesson plan:

This is how he explains the various parts of the five minute lesson plan:

The big picture : How does the lesson  fit into your scheme of work / topic? What knowledge are pupils coming to the lesson with already? What links have you made / can you make? Describe the lesson in 30 seconds!

Objectives : Your objectives for the current lesson. The arrow is just a visual reminder that your lesson is building on what’s gone before. I’d always try to incorporate at least 2 different leveled objectives – perhaps allowing students to choose their own.
Engagement : What’s the hook? How will you gain student attention at the start and throughout the lesson that is exciting and meaningful (without you working to hard!) that you’ll be using to lure pupils into learning? it’s not needed every lesson….but a good story often is enough!
Stickability’ : What will stick in pupils’ minds as they leave your lesson? What key point(s) do you want them to remember and bring back to the next lesson?
AfL (Assessment for Learning Strategies): How will you assess where your learners are at during the lesson, so as to know how to take them where you want to go? What AfL strategies are you going to use? What key questions will help you to lure pupils into learning? Plan for various (AfL) Assessment for Learning strategies to allow students to see progress. Use a Targeted-Question grid to help frame higher-order questions. Where possible, use the Pose Pause Pounce Bounce AfL strategy to stimulate discussion.
Key words : Literacy has never had such a high-profile as it has at the moment. Encourage students to read lesson objectives out. Pick out keywords and extrapolate their meanings. Use techniques to break down the phonics of each word and encourage visual recognition to reinforce. Plan what key-word you want students to learn. This promotes high levels of literacy which is an Ofsted focus. YOU COULD ALSO ADD NUMERACY TO THIS SECTION. Every lesson should involve some mathematical reference of link.
Differentiation / Groupings : Plan – at a glance – what activities you will provide for gifted and talented students; students with SEN/D and EAL. What sort of groupings are needed, what are they doing and when? Do you have this mapped to a seating plan with current levels of progress?
Learning episodes : What is going to happen in the lesson from start to finish? Identify as many opportunities for pupil-led learning as possible. The four boxes do NOT denote a four-part lesson. Just fill them up with what needs to happen.

Adaptations of this five minute lesson plan

Sparky Teaching has recreated this for elementary teachers and Ross gives the link on his website.


How popular is the 5 minute lesson plan?

!37+ countries are using this lesson plan already.How do we know? Ross has created a Google map with pins. He asks folk to pin the whereabouts of their school if they are using this lesson plan and he gives a hyperlink to the Google map on his website.. So if you decide to use it let Ross know! 

The link to this map can be found here

Resources to take note of

1) Tes Resources has a link to this lesson plan 

Lesson plans for school teachers

2) The lesson plan as it stands on Tes (you’ll need to join – free – first)

3) How to move your lessons from good to outstanding

My conclusion

I just love this idea. It all happened in a day’s tweeting. A teacher cannot afford to be without Twitter these days.

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