Skill-Based Lesson Planning Template

We built this lesson plan template to support teachers as they develop and implement skill-based instruction. Built from our 10 Instructional Moves, our Skill-Based Lesson Planning Template helps teachers create highly engaging lessons that give students access to rigorous academic work.


To complete a Lesson Plan Template, begin by filling in some basic information about the lesson.

Move 1 asks you to identify content standards. The content standards for this lesson can be recorded at the top of the first page. Then, select a few College and Career Readiness standards and fill them in on the second page in the column that reads "Literacy Standards."

Under source, write the title of the text you intend to use. This is Move 2. 

For Move 3, you will want to identify critical concepts in the source you have selected that students need to know well. Write these words in the "Critical Concepts" table.

Move 4 asks you to develop a performance task that will help focus the lesson, provide purpose for the reading, and guide both formative and summative assessments. Our performance tasks should be directly related to the standards and assist with how our students interact with new information.

We want to have fun with Move 5. There are lots of engaging activities we can use to bridge to students' prior knowledge or create interest. We can show a short film clip, create an anticipation guide, or have students engage in informal speaking or writing tasks. Write your ideas for building prior knowledge in the box at the bottom of page 1.

On page 2, there is a table where you can complete Moves 6-8. When mapping standards to skills, consider using our Common Core section. In this section, we have aligned Reading Skills, Writing Skills, and Speaking Skills to the Common Core Anchor Standards.

You can find ideas for supporting individual skills (Move 7) on our skill pages in our Skill Library. Click on a skill you want to teach and scroll down to the "Support" slide. You will find a variety of resources to help support the teaching of that particular skill. In addition, the skill pages offer tips for teaching next to each of the slides. These tips can help with modeling and scaffolding ideas.

Move 8 reminds us that we should have students working together as often as possible. The Lesson Plan Template allows you to add collaborative elements to each literacy standard and/or skill. Planning for multiple collaborative experiences will help you build a student centered lesson that is highly engaging. 

Plan your formative and summative assessments (Move 9) once you have planned your literacy standards, skills, and collaborative work. We recommend planning formative assessments throughout the lesson. You don't need an assessment for every activity or skill, but we have designed the template so that you can add assessments to any part of the skill lesson.

Finally, Move 10 is about reflecting on learning. We want students to track their progress and reflect on their own learning goals. This is also a time for us (teachers) to reflect on the effectiveness of our lessons and think about where we can improve.

What's next? Our Skill-Based Lesson Planner is a great resource for lesson planning. Let's jump in and build a digital skill-based lesson.

Guides and Resources

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The Conversation

Ms. felton Ms. felton 7/31/2015

great resource

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Dr. LeoIllest Dr. LeoIllest 4/23/2020

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Mr. LeMaster Mr. LeMaster 9/1/2015

Thanks! We like it. This document follows our digital lesson planner. It is a great place to start.

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Dr. LeoIllest Dr. LeoIllest 4/23/2020

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Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

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