This session introduces key considerations of planning instruction for young adults interested in careers in education.


  • Exploring, Social Services
  • US DOE, Education and Training


By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the need for planning as an important part of instruction.


  • Paper plates or sheets of paper (for opening activity)—one more than the number of people participating in the game
  • Masking tape
  • Maps (one for every two Explorers)
  • Pencils or pens (one per Explorer)
  • Demonstration materials (see Activity 2)


Text in italics should be read aloud to participants. As you engage your post in activities each week, please include comments, discussions, and feedback to the group relating to Character, Leadership, and Ethics. These are important attributes that make a difference in the success of youth in the workplace and in life.

Opening Activity

Traffic Jam

Take one paper plate or sheet of paper per participant plus an extra one, and place them in a straight line, using masking tape to keep the plates or paper secure. Half of the group lines up one behind the other on marked spots, facing the other half of the group, which also is lined up one behind the other on the marked spots, with the empty spot between the two groups. It does not matter if there is an odd number of participants and one side has one more person than the other.


The goal is for each group to exchange places.


Explain the following movement restrictions:

  1. Only one person moves at a time.
  2. A person may not move around anyone facing the same direction.
  3. They may not move backward.
  4. No one can move around more than one person on the other team at a time.


Give the participants 15 minutes to exchange places. When the group has reached their goal, or when time expires, ask:

  • What were you trying to accomplish?
  • What sort of challenges did you encounter?

What lessons can we take from this sort of activity that are relevant to learning how to plan instruction?


If you have a guest helping with the presentation, please share the materials below. The goal of this session is to help Explorers see the value of planning instruction. If your guest has a particular expertise (in addition to experience as an educator), he or she can demonstrate that skill to help communicate the steps required in planning instruction.

The focus of Activity 2 is to share how a planning model—in this case, the Teaching EDGE approach—can be used to organize instruction in preparation for teaching.

Tell Explorers: EDGE stands for Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable.

Activity 1


Divide Explorers into pairs and give each pair a road map or a map of your local community printed out from an online source such as Google Maps. Provide two points on the map and have each pair of Explorers mark a path between those two points on their map.

Ask participants to describe the route they marked on the map.

Follow up with these questions:

  • How did you decide to select your route?
  • How many different ways are there to get to your destination?
  • What are some reasons that you might take a different route?
  • How did a map help you figure out the best way between two locations on the map?
  • In what ways is a map like a plan?
  • How would a map—or a plan—have helped with the Traffic Jam game played at the start of the meeting?

Make the following points:

  • Teachers plan lessons for many of the same reasons that participants used a map to help them arrive at their destination.
  • Our learning objectives provide our destination.
  • The route we pick to reach that destination is based on what our students already know, what they do not understand, and the tools we have to reach that destination.
  • Once we reach our destination, we take time to see what our students have learned.

Activity 2


Make the following points and then provide an example.

  • Planning instruction is one of the most important things a teacher needs to learn how to do.
  • Teachers need to take into consideration several things as they make their plan. At the top in importance is:
    • What do your students need to learn?
    • How do you want to figure out what they will learn? (This is assessment.)
    • What do they already know and what do they not know?
    • Does anyone need special help to learn?
    • What are you going to teach—is it a skill, or will you ask your students to make sense of patterns or evidence?
    • What tools do you have to teach your lesson?


That may seem like a lot to prospective teachers. It is, in many ways, but we want to do the best possible job for our students.


For today’s meeting, you or a guest can teach a simple skill to show participants the basics of what goes into planning a lesson.


Write the following steps on the board or on chart paper:

EDGE Method or Model

  • Explain
  • Demonstrate
  • Guide
  • Enable


Show how a simple outline like the EDGE model can be used to teach a simple skill such as:

  • Tying shoes
  • Using a compass
  • Knitting


While you or a guest presenter is teaching a simple skill to the Explorers, take a moment during each step in the activity to note how the steps of the EDGE model can be used to organize and sequence instruction.

Activity 3


Pair up Explorers and assist them in coming up with a simple plan to teach a skill, making use of the four steps of the EDGE model.

Activity 4


Have the pairs of Explorers come forward to share their plan and demonstrate what they put together.


Some sample questions are below. They are designed to help the participants apply what they have learned to their own interests. You are welcome to use these questions or develop your own questions that relate to your post or specific focus area.

Build the reflection on these points:

  • What did you do during the meeting?
  • What did you learn that caused you to think differently about the subject?
  • How will this make a difference for you in the future?
  • What are some of the advantages and disadvantages in planning instruction?
  • How does the planning instruction process help you avoid potential pitfalls?
  • How does the planning instruction process help you focus on the student? Give examples.

If you don’t do the planning instruction process, what could be the result?


The Advisor closes the meeting with a brief message that connects the meeting’s activities with the post’s area of interest and adds a note of inspiration or a positive challenge.


After the meeting, address the following:

  • Identify what was successful about the meeting.
  • Identify what needed improvement.
  • Schedule an officer and Advisor planning meeting to prepare for the next post meeting or activity.
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