Writing Lesson Plans PRESENTED BY KELLY CHAPLIN ADVANCED PATH INSTRUCTOR & ADAPTIVE SERVICES DIRECTOR AT LITTLE BIT THERAPEUTIC RIDING CENTER, REDMOND, WA
Goals of this Presentation Help instructors feel more confident writing effective and progressive lesson plans Go over the flow of writing lesson plans Introduction, warm up, skill, progression, cool down & conclusion Distinctions between goals and objectives Teaching skills What, How, Why Teaching what you see Adapting lesson plans to suit what is actually needed
Writing Lesson Plans Introduction: Every lesson plan should have an introduction where the instructor can go over the goals and objectives of the lesson Example: “Today we are going to work on lengthening and shortening our horse’s stride. ” Discuss what the skill is Explain how to perform skill Ask why this skill is important
Writing Lesson Plans Warm-up: After the introduction, a warm-up prepares your riders and horses for the eventual skill. Example: “Since we are going to be working on lengthening and shortening our horse’s strides (transitions within the gait), to warm up for that let’s check in with our aids by doing a warm up of walk/halt transitions. ”
Writing Lesson Plans Skill: Now that your class is warmed up, you can dive into the skill: Lengthening and Shortening your horse’s strides. Example: What: Encouraging your horse to take a longer stride or shorter stride at the walk How: For lengthening squeeze with your lower leg and exaggerate your hip movement. For shortening quiet your hip movement and shorten your reins and half halt as needed. Why: This skill helps your horse be more balanced, aware of his/her legs, increase muscling, increase responsiveness, etc.
Writing Lesson Plans Progression: Every lesson should have progression. In your lesson plan you can include how you plan to make the skill you are focusing on more challenging. Example(s): If your riders are able to lengthen and shorten their strides on the rail, try having them do it over poles and actually count the strides. Or have them do it with less support from any volunteers. Or have them try it at the trot if they are able (once you’ve had them warm up the trot first).
Writing Lesson Plans Cool Down & Conclusion: One of the most important parts of a lesson plan is the conclusion! This is your chance to re-cap what everyone worked on today and what they learned. What was successful? What can they improve on for next time? Etc. Example: “Today we delved into lengthening and shortening our horse’s strides at the walk. It went so well they we were able to start doing it over poles and really see the changes in strides! Next week we will continue this lesson by exploring it at the trot!”
Goals vs. Objectives Goal: General statement on what is the purpose of the lesson. Example: “All riders will work on changing their horse’s strides at the walk” Objective: Measurable statement outlining what the skill is and what it entails. Example: “All riders will demonstrate the ability to control their horse’s pace by changing their horse’s strides at the walk for five strides (lengthening and shortening. )”
Breaking down Objectives All riders will demonstrate __(Quantifier)_ by performing ___(Skill)__ for __(Measure) _. Quantifier: What the skill entails Examples: Core strength, Control, Balance, Safety Awareness, Advanced riding skills, Leg aides, Independent hand seat, etc. Skill: Specific action Examples: Jump position, Posting trot, Steering, Transitions, Leg yields, Lengthening/Shortening strides, etc. Measure: How you evaluate if the rider succeeded Examples: 10 seconds, 10 strides, weaving 10 cones, 3 out of 5 times, etc. *No percentages! Not measurable!*
Examples of Objectives All riders will demonstrate strength and balance by performing two-point position for ten seconds. All riders will demonstrate control of their horse by riding unclipped at the walk through a five part obstacle course one time. All rider will demonstrate advanced leg aides by performing leg yields at the walk from the quarter line to the rail three times each direction.
Teaching Skills What: Define the skill Example: Backing-moving the horse backwards in a straight, steady, controlled pace. How: Explain how a rider does the skill Example: Backing-say “back” (no clicking as that means move forward), squeeze legs to tell horse to move while pulling reins back to tell horse to move backwards using your legs and seat to keep the horse straight. Why: Explain the purpose for the skill Example: Backing-promotes responsiveness, has potential to get horse off forehand, gets horse between aids, helps with straightness, can be used as a disciplinary action, etc.
Teaching Skills Incorporating skills into games and obstacle courses Most likely, they’re already involved! You just need to point them out! Examples: most games or obstacle courses involve: walk/halt transitions—skills! working on riding position and effective riding aides—skills! steering and looking in the direction of travel—skills! planning ahead and safety awareness—skills! following multiple step directions—skills!
Teaching What You See What to do when your written lesson plan ends up being inappropriate? (Weather, Time, Horses, Volunteers, Riders, etc). Adapt! Postpone! Example: try using part of the plan still, or try having less progression until class is ready. Example: Explain that due to the various circumstances your plan for the day will have to wait until next lesson. Improvise! Example: you can pretty much plan on your carefully crafted lesson plan not actually panning out. . . So get used to pulling other lesson plans out of your bag of tricks so you can still have an effective, fun, and safe lesson!
Teaching not Telling Friendly reminder that just because you now know how to write prefect lesson plans, doesn’t me you dictate them to your students! Don’t forget to teach rather than tell! Ask Questions: Ask your students if they know how to perform the skill? Or why they should work on it? You can also engage the volunteers in this! Asking questions helps people retain the information since they have to communicate the answer, it also helps to ensure everyone is paying attention!
Conclusion Lesson Plan Layout: Introduction, Warm up, Skill, Progression, Conclusion Goals vs. Objectives Teaching Skills Teaching what you see Teaching not Telling Any questions?