Lesson Plan


(LESS-uhn Pl-ANN)

Solid Elements


What is a Lesson Plan?

A lesson plan (or instructional design plan) is a tool used to outline the sequence and flow of activities as well as talking points for a training session. Beyond activities and talking points, this often includes bigger picture items as well, such as learning objectives and session materials.

Key Components of a Lesson Plan

In this 10-minute podcast, Brian share some thoughts on the key components of a lesson plan in the event you want to make your own template.

Other Common Names

Other common names for lesson plan include:

  • Presenter Notes
  • Facilitator Guide
  • Instructional Design Plan

Key Properties

  • Written narrative of a training session’s sequence and flow
  • Guidance on how much time to spend on any given topic, talking point, or activity
  • In addition to an outline of talking points and activities, provides big picture information that could include overall session goals, specific learning objectives, and materials to be used during the session
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Key Passages from What's Your Formula?

Whats Your Formula book
Order your copy to learn more about lesson plans and all of the related elements.

Learning Experiment: Ex + Lp = More Engaging SME Presentations

What’s possible when a Subject Matter Expert maps out what they want to say and how they want to engage their audience through a lesson plan, instead of immediately opening up PowerPoint when they have to put a presentation together?

Learning Experiment: Ex + Lo + Lp + Em

Subject matter experts can struggle with trying to present information in which they are experts. As training professionals, there are some things we can do to help.



A game is something you play, while gamification is an intentional design strategy. Using a lesson plan (or for e-learning, a storyboard) to map out that design strategy can help you connect the dots and envision how a completely gamified program could work.

Subject Matter ExpertSubject Matter Experts

Keeping in mind that your subject matter expert won’t know much about dialogue education or instructional design, it will probably be up to you to develop a lesson plan for your SME to follow


As you’ll discover in more depth when you examine element 36, Soapbox is a tool that can help you quickly concoct your own lesson plan. The lesson plan (or facilitator guide as the Soapbox software calls it) will allow you to determine how much time to spend on which activities. The added advantage of the Soapbox format is that it connects your learning objectives with activities designed to help accomplish those objectives.


Download the Element Sanity Check

Even if you haven’t yet purchased the book (what are you waiting for?!) you can get access to worksheets that will help guide you through the use of the elements of amazing learning experiences.