The Lesson Plan (contributed by Emily Smith & Sherreida Reid)  


Part of the responsibilities of being a Peer Leader is to present a minimum of one lecture that is at least 50 minutes in length.  This may seem to be an intimidating requirement, but proves essential in order to build stronger connections and impart knowledge from a student prospective to your assigned FYE section. This can also be a stepping-stone where your own personal growth can be achieved. However, preparation is fundamental before giving the lecture.

                A first step to creating a good lesson plan is to contemplate what topics you are personally interested in.  Your lecture is not confined to FYE objectives but may cover a more personal topic of interests. For example, some peer leaders have covered topics such as World AIDS Day, and campus/personal safety while others have covered campus engagement, time management and academic dishonesty.

 While planning, it is very important to converse with the FYE professor and to understand their expectations for your lecture. Here may lay some problems, as some professors may not allow you a high degree of autonomy during the creation process of your lesson plan.  To compensate for this it is important to present a list of possible topics but also express to your professor if you are particularly passionate about teaching a certain lesson. Another aspect to think about is what type of topic your specific FYE class might be interested in learning about, or may respond best to. An outgoing FYE class may respond better to a topic that involves being active on campus or the surrounding community (i.e. campus engagement). A class of students from backgrounds such as pre-health or physical education may be more interested on learning how to stay healthy while attending college, and avoiding the infamous freshman 15.

After a topic is chosen, deciding how to teach your topic to the FYE students can be challenging. It is important to incorporate methods that will allow active learning (group work, role playing, writing exercises, incorporating technology, etc.) and will keep the class engaged. It may also be wise to incorporate more into the lesson plan than you think can be covered in 50 minutes. This can help correct effects of being nervous, such as speed talking or missing points in your lecture.  Most importantly, HAVE FUN! Students will notice your excitement and enjoy/learn more from the lecture if you are enthusiastic and having fun.

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