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Sample Writing Prompt

Lesson planning is an essential component of effective teaching. You are a mentor teacher and your principal has asked you to help new teachers become more thoughtful and productive in their lesson planning. Write a memo to the new teachers discussing the role lesson planning plays in effective teaching. In your memo, include the types of information that ought to be included in a lesson plan, the reasons why lesson plans are useful, and what can happen if you do not sufficiently plan lessons.

Your response will be evaluated based on how well you communicate your message to the intended audience, not on your personal opinions, position, or point of view. Your response will be evaluated based on how well organized and focused your writing is, how well you develop and elaborate on your ideas, and your grammar and mechanics.

Example of a “3” Response

To: All New Instructional Staff Date: August 20, 2007 From: Name withheld Subject: Lesson Plan

As one of the five mentor teachers here at Pinecrest Elementary school, on behalf of our Principal Mr. Smith and all staff members I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you. We are extremely happy to have you on our team and look forward to working with you to make your teaching career a very pleasant and enjoyable one.

Our Principal has asked me to share with you the importance of having a well organized lesson plan for each day. In addition to our School Board’s requiring the preparation of a lesson plan in advance of each school day, it greatly helps us stay on task about the materials to be covered. Your completed lesson plan will assure that the curriculum guidelines are being met, additionally it will help you prepare in advance any materials or adaptations that you will need and clearly state the goals you hope to achieve with your students. Lesson plans should be written clearly and with sufficient detail to ensure that it can be understood by our Administrators who will review these documents frequently. For example, if your class is working from a particular book the name of the book should be listed along with the page(s) that you plan to cover. Any reviews you plan to address or assignments to be given should also be listed along with due dates. Study aids such as video clips or music should be clearly listed in the lesson plan and readily available. Finally, they should be sufficiently detailed so that they could be utilized by a substitute teacher; yet they should not be so rigid that they could not adapted. The key is to be prepared at all time!