Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.
Printable Lesson Templates, Forms, and Planning Guidance
I like experimenting with new ways to approach lesson planning. If you're looking for some fresh lesson templates, printable forms, and organizational support, these ten websites provide great tools to help you in your planning.
The variety of templates range from simple fill-in-the-blank forms created by other teachers for a variety of lesson planning needs, to more sophisticated Web 2.0 lesson templates with interactive help, state and national standards alignment, collaboration, and more extensive planners.
Listed in order below are my top ten favorite sites for fill-in-the-blank type templates and Web 2.0 interactive templates.
#1 Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan Template Model
The Madeline Hunter Direct Instruction Lesson Plan Model is the one I used when I started teaching. For more than 30 years, it has been the most broadly used lesson plan template. It is based on Madeline Hunter's research into effective teaching and the eight essential elements of lessons at all grade levels.
This version, from Dr. Helen Mongan-Rallis, does an excellent job of providing guidance on the basic elements in this type of lesson plan. Most of the lesson plans you see online follow some variation of this template. The Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX) has many outstanding examples of lessons using the Madeline Hunter template.
#2 Understanding by Design Unit Plan Template—Backward Design Process
About 15 years ago, with the emphasis on standardized goals and learning objectives, a holistic lesson approach took shape: Understanding by Design.
The template for UbD emphasizes beginning with the end in mind—establishing learning goals for a curriculum unit and then working backwards. The framework was designed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. You can learn more about the UbD concept at Authentic Education.
It's important to understand that this template is best used for planning a unit. It is not designed to be used as a daily lesson plan template. Think of UbD as the framework from which daily lesson plans and assessments can be designed.
Understanding by Design Guide Book: Begin at Your Destination
#3 BIE Project Based Learning Design Guide
The Buck Institute for Education is an excellent starting point for project based learning. And their Project Design Template Overview and Learning Guide is a great resource for beginning your project plan. The template is available in both PDF and DOC formats.
The site also provides templates for PBL formative assessments, rubrics, calendars, and other related forms. Their resources include sample lesson plans and instructions for getting started with project based learning.
#4 Google Docs Blank Lesson Plan Templates
Google Docs has an enormous collection of lesson plan templates and forms created by users. As with other collections, these include individual plans, weekly planners, unit planners, and monthly planning tools. To help you wade through such a large collection, Google offers helpful sorting tools for highest rated and most frequently used plans.
#5 Microsoft Office Blank Lesson Plan Templates
Microsoft Office users contributed more than 25 templates and forms to this collection of Microsoft Word and Excel based Lesson Plan Templates. There are individual lesson templates, weekly planner templates, unit plan templates, and homeschool templates available in this collection.
Remember, you don't need Microsoft Office to use these forms. There are freeware packages available online or for download, such as Google Docs, ThinkFree Office and OpenOffice, that are compatible to use with Word and Excel documents.
#6 Have Fun Teaching Lesson Plan Templates
Have Fun Teaching offers five generic, printable lesson plan templates in several formats. They include a template for daily planning to state standards, ESOL strategies, lesson planning supplements, a weekly plan, and a five-subject plan. Most plans are in PDF format. There are also templates for specific subjects and for specific grade levels up to sixth grade.
A free PDF editor that will let you fill out these forms (but not alter them) is available for use on Google Chrome from PDFescape Free PDF Editor.
#7 Education Oasis Lesson Plan Templates and Guidance
Education Oasis offers detailed guidance on the Madeline Hunter template for creating lesson plans. The author of the article, Dr. Bob Kizlik, describes five of the most common mistakes in lesson planning and how to avoid them.
#8 UDL Lesson Builder
An interactive web-based lesson plan template for creating lessons for students of varied learning abilities in the classroom is the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Lesson Builder from the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). The site has several excellent lesson plan samples that illustrate how to construct differentiated lessons to meet a variety of student needs, skills, and aptitudes. This interactive template provides plenty of guidance and tips for creating a plan.
Learn more about UDL here. Free registration is required to create lessons.
Using UDL to Teach Every Student
#9 Standards Toolbox Lesson Plan Template
Another Web 2.0 interactive lesson builder can be found in Standards Toolbox, which provides standards-aligned lesson planning tools including templates and a weekly calendar planner. Additional tools include a test generator and gradebook, as well as graphic organizers for your subject area/grade level. All of these tools are free to individual teachers.
#10 LearnBoost Lesson Plan Template and Tools
If you use Google apps for Education or Google Calendar, you'll find the LearnBoost interactive lesson planner particularly useful. It has a weekly planner that can be integrated with your Google calendar. In addition to the template form is a grade-book and seating chart.
Expect to see more features soon, as it's a relatively new app.
A Basic Lesson Plan Format
More Lesson Plan Template Options
A collection of weekly and daily lesson planner templates especially useful to homeschooling parents.
A form for planning project-based units from the Buck Institute for Education.
Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades, and school notices.
Nine simple lesson plan templates in PDF format to meet a variety of teaching requirements and styles. Tools allow users to search for over 120,000 original lesson plans found on hundreds of different sites throughout the Internet.
More than 180 free lesson plan forms, units, and weekly planner templates created by teachers. Some are designed for specific subjects and grade levels.
This action flow lesson plan template allows for teachers to differentiate instruction for up to three instructional groups using an Excel spreadsheet format.
Excellent detailed instructions and template for projects. This five-concept template created by Leecy Wise, with instructions by Gloria Edwards for U.S. Dept of Education, Star Schools.
So Many Lesson Planning Templates...
Your comments on using lesson plan templates
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on February 25, 2017:
I'm glad you found it useful. Happy planning!
jyotirmayee behera on February 24, 2017:
Thanks .....this is very helpful for me
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on February 07, 2015:
Yes, Mrs. Hunter's is a classic. Nowadays, though, I'm drawn more and more into the project based learning model and the West Virginia site mentioned above has an excellent template for that. Thanks for your feedback, Melissae.
Melissa Reese Etheridge from Tennessee, United States on February 07, 2015:
Thanks for such an informative post. I teach sixth-grade English, and I still use Mrs. Hunter's template~even after thirty years. Keep fighting the good fight.
OUTFOXprevention1 on March 17, 2014:
Great lens with great resources! thanks!
rushforms on January 27, 2014:
You did a really great job there. Excellent article, very worth reading.
Wakhinuddin on January 04, 2014:
Thanks a lot ........... I am using it
IanTaher on September 28, 2013:
Nice teaching plan templates share! Thanks a lot!
univstats on July 31, 2013:
Very Useful Information! Thanks :)
Birthday Wishes from Here on July 29, 2013:
Wonderful lens!!! Thanks a lot for sharing!
karen550 lm on July 10, 2013:
These are wonderful! Do you have any using the workshop model?
AdrianaZoder LM on July 08, 2013:
As a beginning hs mom, I need lots of information. This was very, very helpful. Thank you!
lawyer-marketing on July 03, 2013:
Very useful and informative.
jois2013 on June 14, 2013:
Thanks and Really great use full information.
Rhonda Lytle from Deep in the heart of Dixie on April 12, 2013:
Thanks bunches for the useful links. I knew of some of these, but there are a few I can't wait to check out.
Fridayonmymind LM on March 31, 2013:
Some great templates here.
BestForTheMoneyz on March 11, 2013:
interesting templates, these looks really handy!
ConnieGreen LM on March 06, 2013:
Excellent resources here - thanks so much! I'm a former classroom teacher who now teaches marketing online, so these will come in handy and make my lessons much better
TinyMonstersCheats on March 04, 2013:
A very useful resource. Bookmarked
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on February 13, 2013:
@LewisAndKatie: tes.co.uk is a fantastic site. I listed it on LearningReviews.com as a teacher lesson planning tool with resources across the spectrum - easily adaptable to US common core standards. Gook luck in your teaching career.
LewisAndKatie on February 13, 2013:
This is a great lens! Im training to be a teacher and it was hard finding a template to use. In the UK we have this website www.tes.co.uk/ which has fantastic resources and plans on and this helped me find a template I liked! Check it out if you haven't heard of it!
anonymous on January 29, 2013:
Thank you for this resource! I'll pass your lens on to others.
rattie lm on January 23, 2013:
terrific teaching resources
rasnasah on January 16, 2013:
Very informative lens.Great Job
Vikki from US on January 14, 2013:
Awesome template resource page ;)
seosmm on December 24, 2012:
Great resource. Very Nice Lens. Happy Holidays!
anonymous on December 16, 2012:
This is good information, it is worth considering, I think I like them. :)
alidabdul on December 04, 2012:
amazing template, I bookmarked this lens, thx anyway :)
cjbmeb14 lm on December 02, 2012:
Some great templates thanks.
anonymous on November 07, 2012:
beaworkathomemom on November 07, 2012:
cool! this would help teachers a lot in developing their lesson plans!
AdeelAthar LM on November 05, 2012:
All these templates are excellent. Keep it up!
Donnette Davis from South Africa on November 02, 2012:
Wonderful resources. I have bookmarked this lens.
rooshoo on October 29, 2012:
My mom is a teacher, I'll show this lens to her. Thanks for the info! Great lens.
anonymous on October 29, 2012:
Thanks so much for this lens!
anonymous on October 14, 2012:
thanks for the websites they are very helpful great lens
anonymous on October 14, 2012:
great lens nice work
TeachersInsuranceSpecialists on September 05, 2012:
This looks like a really wonderful resource for educators. I will have to remember this.