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Satisfying all tastes

With practice, you can leave everyday classes behind and become the cordon bleu of lesson planning, says Sue Cowley. Planning the ideal lesson is like creating the perfect recipe: step by step instructions, high quality ingredients, visual appeal, a delicious end product.

Spice things up for different learners - some like a takeaway, others enjoy fish and chips. Include something visual, something practical, discussion, quiet work time.

Consider the finished meal. Appearance is important, but so are taste, texture, smell and sound (that satisfying crunch). Multi-sensory approaches are appealing and memorable.

Be prepared: know what you will need in order to cook up your lesson before you start. Use high-quality equipment - interesting resources, engaging scenarios. Like all good chefs, use flair and improvisation. The best plans are flexible, with options for chucking in something from left field. If one activity isn't working, have a back up plan.

And finally, don't forget that sometimes the best meals are made with the least planning. Look in the fridge, chuck together interesting ingredients, and who knows, even Gordon Ramsay might be impressed

Sue Cowley is an author, trainer and presenter. Her books include Guerilla Guide to Teaching (Continuum). For more information, visit

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