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Value in Analogy
Use the new research paper lens to view your standards implementation process for insights.

Writing Unit & Lesson Plans Is Like Writing a Research Paper — Really!

We all know the process for writing a research paper. It turns out to have lots in common with developing unit and lesson plans from standards and offers a new lens to view and analyze the steps.

The process of building out standards and writing lesson plans has a lot in common with writing a research paper. We’ve all done them and most of us hate them. The problem is they require lots of time and lots of painful mental work. You can’t just write a research paper in a single sitting and you can’t write all the lesson plans for a course in a day. Both are large and important projects, but there’s a lot more in common. In fact, each of the side-by-side process steps in the illustration have direct correlations.

Students hate research papers. They take too much time. They require planning. And, they are required to follow a process. Students just want to write the paper and skip all the work that doesn’t literally show up in the paper. When or if appropriate time is applied, most would find it not that hard. And if teachers had enough time available (compensated time), writing lesson plans from standards wouldn’t be that bad. But teachers are strapped for time and already donate significant personal hours.

There’s lots of pressure to really do a great job on the research paper because your course grade, your grade point average and your future depend on high quality. What about lesson plans? With new accountability measures, you have new pressures as a teacher to ensure lessons are aligned to the standards.

Like a research paper’s sequence of sections and paragraphs are critical for a reader’s understanding, lesson plans need to be sequenced for learning. The principles of scaffolded learning and the effects of prior knowledge are valid at every level. Course to course sequencing or vertical alignment is well known, but within a course, the sequence of lesson plans and topics within that plan are also critical.

Of course we’re leaving out the pedagogy. Our job is to help you frame out the units and lessons with a cohesive sequence of content accurately aligned to the standards. You’re the expert on how to teach. But, we do supply all the tools you need to document your plans, save them, edit them and share them.