Lesson Plan Step #4 - Guided Practice

How Students Demonstrate Their Understanding

Teacher helping one of four pupils (8-11) sitting at desk and reading
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Writing a Guided Practice section is the fourth step in writing an effective and strong 8-step lesson plan for the elementary school classroom, after defining the Objectives, Anticipatory Set, and Direct Instruction.

In the Guided Practice section of your written lesson plan, outline how your students will demonstrate that they have grasped the skills, concepts, and modeling that you presented to them in the Direct Instruction portion of the lesson.

While you circulate the classroom and provide some assistance for a given activity (worksheet, illustration, experiment, discussion, or another assignment), the students should be able to perform the task and be held accountable for the lesson's information.

The Guided Practice activities can be defined as either individual or cooperative learning.

As a teacher, you should observe the students' level of mastery of the material in order to inform your future teaching. Additionally, provide focused support for individuals needing extra help to reach the learning goals. Correct any mistakes that you observe.

Examples of Guided Practice in Your Lesson Plan

  • Students will split into pairs to work together on drawing.
  • On a piece of paper, students will draw a picture of plants, incorporating characteristics they learned about in this lesson (listed on board).
  • On the other side of the paper, students will draw a picture of animals, incorporating characteristics they learned about in this lesson (listed on board).
  • Students complete a book review that corresponds to what they are reading.
  • Students edit and rewrite an essay.
  • Students follow guided reading procedures as they are instructed by their teacher.

Common Questions for Guided Practice

Is homework considered guided practice?  Often new teachers mistake guided practice as independent practice.

However, guided practice is NOT considered to be independent practice, therefore, homework is not a part of guided practice. 

Do you have to model before you give independent practice? Yes, you do. Guided practice is modeling for the students. It is essentially the easiest part of the lesson because you are just doing the learning objective.

Are guided practice questions necessary? Although they are not necessary, they are a valuable teaching tool. Guided questions are a great way to help students understand a concept and it also help you, the teacher know if students are comprehending what you are teaching them.

Is guided practice considered modeling?  Guided practice is where the students take what they have learned and put it to the test with the help of the teacher. It can be a hands-on activity where students demonstrate their ability and knowledge of the subject matter and where the teacher is there to watch them, model for them, and guide them to find a solution.

Does it have to be a cooperative activity can be it be an individual activity?  As long as students are demonstrating their understanding of the concept it can be either or.

Edited By: Janelle Cox

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Lewis, Beth. "Lesson Plan Step #4 - Guided Practice." ThoughtCo, Mar. 2, 2017, thoughtco.com/lesson-plan-step-4-guided-practice-2081853. Lewis, Beth. (2017, March 2). Lesson Plan Step #4 - Guided Practice. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/lesson-plan-step-4-guided-practice-2081853 Lewis, Beth. "Lesson Plan Step #4 - Guided Practice." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/lesson-plan-step-4-guided-practice-2081853 (accessed November 20, 2017).