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   Lesson Plan # 1:

Social Skills 

Rationale:  Before cooperative group work can function as it should, social skills need to be in place and understood by every student in the classroom.  It is unfair to expect students to understand how to work together if they've never been taught HOW to work together.  Each student should understand what is expected of himself as a listener and as a speaker during cooperative learning.  Once this learning and understanding is complete, the students need to practice these skills by actively participating in group work.





Time Frame

Picture discussion

- Show the class a picture of a group of students working together (students are laughing and smiling, clearly enjoying each other)

- Ask them to explain what they see

- Have the class give you reasons why they think the students in the picture are getting along so well


- By having students name various reasons of why the students in the picture are getting along, they are, in the process, defining what will make each one of them get along as well

- Teacher will compile a list of behaviours or social skills (as mentioned by the students; as long as they are reasonable) that are expected to occur during group work

10 mins

Jigsaw & T-Chart

- If the class is 20 students, break students off in 4 groups of 5 (each group of 5 is given a # from 1-5)

- Each # is give a specific behaviour or social skill (ie. # 1's skill is actively listening, # 2's skill is praising others, etc) and then break off in their groups (ie. # 1's, 2's, etc)

- Each group is given a T-Chart and asked to describe what their skill sounds like and looks like (ie. praising sounds like That's a good idea, Janie, and looks like a smile, etc)

Once students know what the behaviours are, they then need to know HOW to perform these behaviours and what they look like to themselves and others

15 mins

Jigsaw (student sharing)

- Students return to their original groups of 5 and share with each other what each of their skills sounds like and looks like

Students share with each other their various ideas and get to see each other's point of view

10 mins

Teacher sharing


Teacher leads a discussion regarding what the students' answers were and gives some of her own ideas

Students get the opportunity to see the teacher's point of view

10 mins





Assessment:   Teacher circulates class ensuring that students remain on-topic and are participating according to the behavioural rules discussed at the beginning of class.  Teacher also assesses according to student participation during group work and teacher-led discussion.



 Lesson Plan # 2:

Physical Education Exemplar



Topic:  Factors that affect body shape & size 

Curriculum Areas:  Physical Education, Visual Arts, Language

Overall Curriculum Expectations:  Explain the role of healthy eating practices, physical activity and heredity as they relate to body shape and size

Specific Curriculum Expectations:  Outline the factors that influence body shape & size (e.g., heredity, diet, exercise, etc)

Expectations:  Students learn exemplars through reviewing a Physical Education project, completed by previous students of the same grade.  The project selected was Factors that affect body shape & size, which had both a visual and language portion.  Each project was assessed using a rubric and assigned a Level according to the expectations.





Exemplar Definition

Explain to students what an exemplar is, why it is used and how it is beneficial to them

5 mins

Project Rubric

Hand out Project Rubric and explain to students the expectations of Levels 1 through 4 regarding the work they will be evaluating

5 mins


  1. Have students sitting in groups of 8, number students 1-8; hand out 8 exemplars (2 Level 1's, 2 Levels 2's, etc), students break into their numbered groups (all # 1's together) so that each person in each group # will have the exact same exemplar
  2. Have students discuss amongst each other what Level they believe their exemplar to represent and why
  3. Have students return to their original groups of 8 and discuss their findings; discuss reasons as to why they may have misjudged the work


25 mins


(5 mins to set up groups and hand out forms, 10 mins in first group, 10 mins in second group)

Teacher-Led Discussion

  1. While students are still in their groups of 8, have students tell the teacher what Level the exemplar is and why (i.e., person 1 from each group discusses Exemplar 1, etc)
  2. Teacher invites comments from other students as to whether they agree or not with the assessment
  3. Teacher then provides the students with the correct Level assessment

15 mins

Student Reflection

Students write in their personal journals how they believe exemplars benefit their education and why

10 mins


Rationale:  Exemplars are a great way for students to have a firmer understanding of what is expected of them.  We often take for granted that our words are enough for a child to understand our expectations.  As we know, children learn in different ways.  By introducing exemplars, the students will now have not only a verbal example of what good sounds like, but also a valid physical example of what good looks like.