Developing learning (or lesson) plans is a core task for any educator. Planning and designing instruction is a central focus both for teachers learning how to teach and for teachers seeking to more effectively implement strategies and activities. The learning (or lesson) plan is the bridge between stage 1 and stage 2 of a backward-designed unit or curriculum. The STARTALK learning plan connects lesson can-do statements developed in stage 3 of the curriculum development process to the learning experiences in a program.
Learning Plan Development
A detailed learning plan guide outlining each step in the development process, a learning plan checklist designed to provide feedback to instructors, and a video-based learning plan training are provided to support student programs throughout each stage of the curriculum development process. These tools, as well as the model and sample learning plans linked below, may also be useful resources for teacher programs.
STARTALK requires student programs to develop learning plans that guide the learning experiences in their programs. The STARTALK learning plan is designed to make the connection between the approved curriculum and the learning plan transparent.
Learning Plan Template(s)
STARTALK acknowledges there are many lesson plan templates available; however, in order to ensure a strong connection to the approved curriculum, programs are expected to use the learning plan template specifically designed for STARTALK programs. The following templates are made available for download in Word format in both color and black and white.
STARTALK CREATE is an online platform for drafting, publishing, and sharing STARTALK learning plans. Using STARTALK CREATE, student programs are able to develop and share their own learning plans, save and adapt learning plans created by others, and collaborate within and across programs. At the center of STARTALK CREATE is an interactive learning plan template that guides instructors through a backward-design process to build learning plans.
STARTALK has identified a variety of activities designed to keep learners engaged as they process and produce language. All of the activities include a short overview description, step-by-step directions, as well as helpful tips and suggestions for differentiation. Some of the activities also include video examples, strategy guides, graphic organizers or sample materials, as well as links to additional resources. STARTALK thanks Helena Curtain and Rosanne Zeppieri who inspired this work and created the initial collection of classroom activities. STARTALK also thanks Global Language Project and Occidental College for the videos they created.
Learning Plan Development Training
The following video presentation has been developed to provide detailed instructions on how to complete the STARTALK learning plan template and will help instructors to
- plan lessons aligned to the approved curriculum of a program,
- sequence learning episodes and activities to maximize learning, and
- determine how to check that learners have met the lesson can-do statement
After viewing the video, check your understanding by completing the accompanying quiz.
Model Learning Plans
STARTALK has developed learning plans that support the model curricula to demonstrate for teachers how to move from curriculum development to learning plan implementation. These model learning plans aim to inspire instructors as they develop their own learning plans.
Learning Plans in Action
These sample learning plans address multiple lesson can-do statements from the beginning, middle and end of the unit. Many activities outlined in the learning plans are accompanied by sample authentic resources and teaching materials. Each learning plan also contains videos of one or more activities being delivered in a real classroom. While the target language vocabulary, video examples and resources outlined in these sample learning plans are in specific target languages, both the learning plans and many of the teaching materials are easily adaptable to any language. STARTALK thanks Occidental College (Arabic) and Kent State University (Chinese and Russian) for developing these materials.
Sample Learning Plans
These learning plans may not utilize the most current STARTALK learning plan formats, but they serve as additional samples and models.
- Sample Learning Plan Grades K-2 Let's Meet Animals in the Target Country
- Sample Learning Plan Grades K-2 Mulan
- Sample Learning Plan Grades 3-5 Geography
- Sample Learning Plan Grades 6-8 Oh! The Places We'll Go: At the Airport
- Sample Learning Plan Grades 9-12 Geography Heritage