Satisfying all tastes

30th November 2007 at 00:00

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

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today