Question Detail

Common Core Lesson Plan Template

Jul 3, 2013 11:51am

As we begin to transition to Common Core, I was wondering if anyone has found or created a good, easy-to-use template for lesson plans, preferably digital. This year is going to be tough since we need to implement Common Core standards but still cover our state standards as well. Not to mention that I have three preps this year. Anything that will make my life easier is definitely appreciated.

  • English Language Arts
  • 9-12
  • Common Core / Planning


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    • Jan 16, 2014 4:59pm

      Mine is simple too -- a checklist based on a series from Edutopia:
      _____1. Essential Question ~ can students answer this at the end of the period? Post it. (See #8)
      _____2. Activating Strategy ~ active thinking + connection to prior knowledge
      _____3. Relevant Vocabulary ~ academic; content (post/ discuss)
      _____4. Limited lecture ~ age + 2 or 3 minutes, then check for understanding
      _____5. Graphic Organizers ~ how will students organize/ conceptualize/ categorize knowledge? (RT chart, Cornell notes, graphic or linear paragraph outlines, response or dialectical journal, foldables, guided annotation, brainstorming or hypotheses generators, study guide, outline)
      _____6. Student movement ~ once per period (gallery walk, post-it on door/ Q-wall, small groups, stand-pair-share, post-it exchange, response wall, line-up, stand to recite, quiz-quiz-trade, to Smart Board, Dice roll, to small whiteboards, etc.)
      _____7. Higher order thinking questions (HOTs) ~ on paper, in discussion, in pairs, for HW
      _____8. Summarize for closure ~ can they answer the essential question?
      _____9. Text-based Rigor ~ brisk, challenging = specific activities + HOT Qs + text-based evidence
      _____10. Student-centered ~ how will this lesson lead my students to become lifelong, critical thinkers? How will they demonstrate the skills of independent and interdependent learning?

      • Jul 21, 2013 10:53pm

        I have used the following website and it provides a drop down list of the CCSS, this maybe a resource that can be useful to you. it really makes the lesson planning process much easier. Hope this helps.

        • Dec 25, 2013 1:27pm

          I've been looking everywhere for the same thing and finally found it at It's free and allows you to create your own template and add the relevant CCSS with a simple click. They also have a paid version as well which allows you to share lessons among teachers.

          • Jul 9, 2013 3:47pm

            As Eric said, the CCSS is not a curriculum, and so the actual lesson planning practice doesn't necessarily have to change. You just have to ensure that every lesson you teach is aligned to the standards. I would also advise putting a standard on top of every assignment and on the board each day, to add transparency to the lesson planning process. When I write my units, I write them for an entire month. Each week, I have 1-2 standards I will focus on, and throughout the week, we dig deeper and deeper into the standard until students are proficient. If they aren't, that standard will carry into the next week and we'll loop back to it as needed.

            The CCSS is great for transparency and for helping to plan lessons - because everything that isn't in there isn't necessary to focus on. I'm not sure what you're three preps are, but the CCSS has a lot of vertical alignment, so you may find that your plans are more similar than in the past.

            Katie Novak

            • Jul 19, 2013 10:20pm

              Hi Teri! You should check out the Literacy Design . I think this site is amazing, and I think, since you teach ELA, you may find some already developed modules to integrate into your year.

              I teach 8th grade science and I am looking at integrating the Reading and Writing Standards for Science and Technical Subjects, and this site has helped me out a lot. The offer videos of teachers implementing parts of the module (they are very inspiring). Also, they provide blank Module Shells, so you can develop your own modules. There are also links for Socratic Seminars, which are embedded components to many of the modules, as communication is a key component of Common Core.

              ALSO, in the modules, let's say that you are going to have students read a selection of texts on a topic and write an argument piece- the standards for that particular format are embedded into the module shell, and then, you can include other standards 'as needed'.

              I hope this helps!
              Celeste Lucier

              • Jul 9, 2013 5:48pm

                I wasn't clear in my original post. All I really wondered was if anyone had a pre-made template that already had the CCSS on it--preferably in drop down boxes.

                • Jul 20, 2013 9:48am


                  I found this resource which has PDF files of lesson plan templates. It has drop down screens with the CCSS listed. There are other areas of focus as well, including Gardner, Marzano and Bloom.

                  Here is the link, scroll down to Lesson Planning templates:

                  You can download and save the templates, but you can't save any work that you do. You simply fill them out and print them as you need them. I haven't used this template yet, but it looks helpful.


                  • Jul 14, 2013 12:55am

                    Thank you for asking this question! I have been looking for a way to efficiently put the CCSS into play, also! Thank you!

                    • Jul 14, 2013 10:02am

                      If you are wanting a more interactive type of journal with your studetns, check out J.Runde's Interactive math journals on teachers pay teachers website. She uses the right side of the journal to state the common core objective, place to take notes and the left side of the page for students to write their reflections. Maybe you can modify this to fit your curriculum.

                      • Jul 9, 2013 7:34am

                        Thank you for sharing that lesson template, Lauren. It is simplistic, yet effective!

                        • Jul 17, 2013 9:39am

                          Thanks so much, Lauren, for sending this lesson planning link! I lead the mentor/mentees PLC at my school, and this will be so helpful in putting many minds at ease.

                          • Jul 17, 2013 2:10pm

                            I found a CCSS template on TPT too. It has a drop down menu for the standard you are teaching as well as I do, We do, You do. It's really well organized and simple to use. Be aware, it does not work on Macs. If you search the seller: Education Station, you should find it. It is available for all grade levels.

                            • Jul 28, 2013 1:26am

                     it costs 12.95 per year but lists the core standards and then you could add state standards in. Heard from a fellow teacher.

                              • Jul 29, 2013 7:11pm

                                I have found Understanding by Design, UBD, to work well and I find it general enough that I can include my preview, accessing prior knowledge, objectives, pre and post assessments and as much detail as I feel I need to include on the one form.

                                • Dec 8, 2013 8:36pm

                                  I recently created a Common Core lesson plan template for 5th grade. You are welcome to try it out at...



                                  • Dec 10, 2013 6:49am

                                    There are quite a few common core lesson plan template 's to print or download from

                                    • Jan 26, 2014 2:12pm

                                      Eric, it's true that CCSS is a only a framework, however many teachers still need something to use as a guide so that they are not just all over the place in their lesson planning. I have developed a set of very good lesson plans increasingly used by teachers all over the U.S.These lesson plans were created using Microsoft Word and contain CCSS for all ELA areas within drop down menu's embedded in each lesson plan. The lesson plans are separated by strand. Teachers from various ELA related subjects (i.e. Science, History & SS, Technical Subjects) can use these templates to help guide their lesson planning to ensure that the increased focus on informational text is fully supported in each area. These Common Core Lesson Plans are customizable to allow for differentiated instruction and give teachers the freedom to devise their own lessons and offer the direction needed to keep their lessons common core focused. There are a lot of theories on how to best prepare students for the common core. Teachers are on the front line and are the best decision makers when it comes to how to best prepare their students. These CCSS lesson plan templates can be downloaded electronically at

                                      • Sep 27, 2014 3:23pm

                                        Hi-Just a spin on Eric's suggested lesson plan model. It's similar to the Madeline Hunter planning model as well as the reading workshop model of Ellen Keene. It follows:
                                        1. An anticipation guide or essential question
                                        2. A teacher mini-lesson, read aloud, or think-aloud of new skill
                                        3.Guided Practice
                                        4.Independent Practice
                                        5.Closure-summary of lesson
                                        6.Assessment piece
                                        This teaching model works well with skill based subjects like English.
                                        This year I am teaching a content based course in American History and am using a model that is student centered in approach.
                                        Students will be required to collaborate often. To facilitate this I will be using an inquiry based approach with close reading and critical analysis.
                                        But regardless of the teaching model, break the lesson into manageable pieces and use a timer.

                                        Good luck,
                                        Diane Pickett

                                        • Jul 13, 2013 12:18pm

                                          If you teach in a Catholic school as I do look at Common Core lCathoic Identity Initiative. Loads of good templates.

                                          • Mar 21, 2014 8:17pm

                                            The only problem with this thinking is that our teacher evaluation protocols require a lesson plan with all of the Marzano components evident and spelled out.

                                            • Aug 13, 2014 9:08pm

                                              I have developed a FREE lesson plan template for K-5 guided reading. I know you teach 9-12, but you could perhaps tweak this template & CCSS drop-down lists for your needs!

                                              You can preview/dl it from TeachersPayTeachers @


                                              Good luck!

                                              Mark Butler

                                              5th Grade Teacher & Software Developer

                                              • Apr 4, 2015 12:35pm

                                       is the best lesson plan resource I have ever used. You can print out lesson plans for subs, share your plans with co-teachers, students, and parents if you want to. You can link the standards and any materials you use for the lesson to the lesson. It also will give you a report of how many times you have addressed a standard in a set time period. The price is very reasonable, and I highly recommend it.

                                                • Apr 27, 2015 4:29pm

                                                  To start with, you may want to update your practice to include learning targets and success criteria. 34 years of unchanged practice is not something to boast about.

                                                  • Aug 23, 2015 6:14pm

                                                    K-5 Teachers might be interested in the Complete Lesson Planner for Excel & Google Drive at

                                                    Mark Butler
                                                    5th Grade Teacher
                                                    Springfield, IL