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Examine the Difference Between a Lesson Plan and a Unit Plan?

A teachers lesson plans is generally prepared by the teacher for one period (or class) to ensure the happenings in classroom meets its purpose and learning takes place constructively. A unit (or a chapter) takes a longer time period and involves many lessons. This is the main difference between the unit plan and the lesson plan.

A teachers lesson plans elaborates, basically, on a objectives of a particular period and how teaching is planned to achieve those objectives. On the other hand, a unit plan covers a wider area, a unit that can include many lessons.

What is a Lesson Plan?

A lesson plan is generally prepared by the teacher to ensure that learning takes place constructively. A clear goal is set for the class and the path to goal is laid out clearly so that all the students can be carried along the journey and the learning outcomes can be achieved. A teachers lesson plans includes lesson objectives, expected questions from students, time allocation for each task within the lesson, activity types, and interactions during activities such as student-student, teacher-student interaction, and material to be used for the lesson.

Aside from these, a teachers lesson plans may also involve personal aims that focus on the teacher's personal development. Moreover, a well-planned lesson may have a board plan that is to be shown in the class for students to know about their journey. Thus, it's clear that a lesson plan covers how the teacher conducts the lesson to be well organized in advance.

A teachers lesson plans ensures that lesson objectives are met and learning take place effectively in the class. Further, a lesson plan should, at last, be connected to the goals of the unit.

What is a Unit Plan?

A unit – generally a chapter - involves many lessons and takes an extended time period. It sets the overall context of why the chapter or topic is being studied by the students – to ensure that the relevance of the studies to it usage and application in life is understood and not lost in the day to day planning. It also covers broadly the methods by which the students will be assessed to understand their learning. Further it also describes the prerequisite-level and preparedness of the student as they undertake study of the chapter.

Based on the above guidance the lesson plans for the day to day classroom activities are developed – so that these are aligned with the overall goals and measures.

A unit plan is also essential to show the study unit's main goals and how evaluations, lessons, and practical sessions connect to fulfil the unit goals. Hence, unit plans are often used for the conference for syllabus reviews and explain the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire towards the end. A unit plan usually consists of

  • Unit content in detail
  • Vision/unit goals
  • Pre and Post-tests
  • Cross-curricular connections, etc.
  • How stages/lessons are designed to realize these goals collectively
  • Time allocated for the completion of each stage

Planning a unit is thus a larger process compared to planning a lesson. This is generally handled by a sectional head or head of the department (HOD). But it includes a discussion with teachers.

ticklinks provides teachers lesson plans which teachers can use for their classes daily. The list of learning outcome for each of the classes – under the chapter (or unit) – guides the teaher to the overall outcomes for the chapter. A teachers from one of the biggest and most prestigious schools of Chennai shared their experience on using tickLinks.

Lalitha madam,

Although I am a science teacher – I was required to teach social sciences – to fill in for teachers.  tickLinks really came to help here. The lesson plans of History and civics with case studies, activities and videos – made learning fun. My students and I really look forward to our social science classes.

Conclusion – Lesson Plan vs Unit Plan

A teachers lesson plans is a teacher's plan for teaching a single lesson. A unit plan contains many lessons and is longer than a lesson plant. This is the key difference between the unit plan and the lesson plan.

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