What are Lesson Objectives?
The teacher wants the children to have learned or achieved a lesson objective (or a teaching objective or a learning objective) by the end of a lesson. It’s also known as a WALT (We Are Learning To). Learning objectives are often differentiated depending on students’ ability levels, and they should be such that children can see what they need to do to progress.
Ideally, a learning objective should be something that children didn’t know before the start of the lesson. That way, teachers can avoid any repetition in their classes. They should also look to continue from work done in the previous study and end where the next one is due to begin. Because of this, some teachers like to use planning overviews to help them organize their learning objectives.
But what are lesson objectives? Here are some examples of teaching objectives that you could use, depending on the subject that is being taught:
- After a lesson about bullying, students should be able to explain the difference between a friend and a bully by writing a short paragraph. This should include a thesis statement as well as a call to action.
- Students will be able to describe their scientific observations after a week-long terrarium unit accurately.
- After a lesson on storylines and narrative, students should be able to identify the rising action, climax, and falling action on a plot diagram.
- Once students have finished an independent reading activity, they should be able to recommend the book that they read to other students and create a single-paragraph book review.
- Students can summarise their day’s events in a personal journal once they have learned reflective writing.
How to write Lesson Objectives
So they’re aware of what is expected of them during the lesson, children need to know the lesson objective. Because of this, teachers will often have the lesson objective written on the board before their class starts. As well as this, teachers usually write the lesson objective on their lesson plan to keep track of what they’re teaching their children.
Looking for guidance on how to write lesson objectives? Different schools, subjects, and teachers may all have slightly varying approaches. So if you’re new to teaching or need a refresher, we’ve got some general guidance for creating a practical lesson objective.
When planning a lesson, you need to establish a clear objective. This objective must be clear to all the pupils. They’ll need to know the following:
WHAT they are learning.
WHY they are learning it.
HOW it links to their more expansive learning.
Ideally, lesson objectives should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relative, and Timely. Only at the end of the lesson, or series of studies, will you know for sure if your lesson objective was specific enough to be measured through some form of assessment.
Lesson objectives should also be specific statements of what learners can do by the end of the lesson. They are not the activities or outcomes of the study but the learning gained from those activities and products.
To know how to write a lesson objective, you need to be clear about what you want pupils to be able to do or know by the end of the lesson. You also need to know their prior learning. This will help you to design a learning sequence in your planning that takes them from what they already know (or can do) to the next level.
Once you know your learning needs, you can formulate your lesson objective. It’s also a good idea to keep the primary national curriculum handy to ensure your lesson objective corresponds with the aims set for your year group and the subject you’re teaching.
As we’ve already mentioned, a great way to frame your lesson objective is to use the initialism WALT or ‘We are learning to….”. The key to writing reasonable goals is to keep them clear and challenging enough for all learners.
Step 1: Identify the noun or noun phrase for what you what the children to learn.
Step 2: Use Bloom’s Taxonomy to decide on the level of learning.
Step 3: Identify a measurable verb from Bloom’s Taxonomy.
Step 4: Add additional information to add context to the learning.
e.g., We are learning to express a cave using adjectives and explain our ideas.
Here’s a handy table of sample verbs to help you with choosing a measurable verb: