Lesson planning – a work in progress

As part of this course I have been working on developing strategy for lesson planning. I’m open for feedback in the comments section and I know I have a long way to go but this is what I have come up with:

These lesson plan components are for a workshop on how to interpret a welding safety unit in a shop class. The workshop is designed for working interpreters who want to expand their knowledge into a different realm. They would build on their existing skill set using new vocabulary and schema. Attached is a mock lesson plan that I am basing these 5 components on as well as links as resources to support these strategies.

1 – Creating a Positive Learning Environment

Establish a set of rules or guidelines to ensure everyone feels secure. This is especially important as we put our ‘work’ out for everyone to see.

Interpreting is subjective and as such it is important that others give only constructive feedback and respect that the process and interpretation is different for each person.

It is something I would have to monitor and ensure that everyone is given an opportunity to work either in a small group of 2-3 or in the larger group if they are comfortable.

This also allows for everyone to know that they aren’t alone in their struggles and we are all able to help each other be more successful.

Humber Centre for Teaching and Learning – is a great website for many aspects of instructional strategies from developing curriculum, classroom management, strategies and developing a practice. It is easy to use and has downloadable, easy to follow PDF documents that summarize the methods that you find helpful.

2 – Motivational Techniques

Establish the reason why we are taking the workshop and make sure that everyone’s needs are being met. This would be done by a pre-assessment to check-in with the group and see everyone’s expectations.

Allow time for warm up with easier exercises that allow comfort to build and thus maintain more motivation throughout the session.

Check in often with everyone to see how he or she are feeling about the exercises. Allowing some time every session for self-reflection. This can be done individually or in a small group setting.

The University of Vermont has a great website with suggestions for different activities to do with a group that help stimulate reflection and therefore aid in knowledge retention and more importantly, critical thinking.  When students are engaged they are  more motivated to learn as stated by Newmann, Wehlage, and Lamborn (1992),

Students may only give token effort and still succeed in school. That is, they can tune out, complete some of the work with only minimal concentration, and even cheat. But if most of their learning is approached in this manner, it will yield only superficial understanding and short-term retention, unlikely to be applied or transferred beyond a few school tests. (p. 14)

3 – Assessment

One of the most challenging aspects of a subjective exercise such as interpreting a text it is important to agree on what is ‘right’. This is something that must be agreed upon by the group.

The source text (either English or ASL) will be viewed together and the underlining meaning and nuances will be discussed as a larger group and then the work will be reviewed by the individuals for their own and/or peer assessment.

I discovered a website (here) that has a method of assessing interpreting in an educational setting. This form is geared for K-12 interpreting but is applicable in many ways to post-secondary interpreting.

4 – Instruction Process/Strategies

This would be organized into sections where the learners are sitting and listening and times when they are participating. They will need to assist each other as a team while interpreting and also to provide feedback on their work. This will allow for learning to take place as the mentor and mentee. There is a time of reflection on their own work, which is valuable in cementing the vocabulary for future use. The entire group will be included and have a chance to work on their skill.

5 – Media

For this lesson plan I would be using a projector to show a PowerPoint presentation with vocabulary, photos of equipment and video clips of an actual lesson in welding safety. We would also use a video camera to record the work the learners are doing so they can assess it themselves and with their learning partners. This has been proven to have great benefit as seen in this Masters thesis .  I would provide a hand out with the vocabulary as well as a handout and follow up email with a list of resources for interpreting in the trades.

Mock Lesson Plan

Objective: The learner will be comfortable interpreting welding safety in a shop environment.

Intro/context: You are all excellent interpreters but have a lack of context or experience in the trades/shop environment. This will help you become accustom and comfortable.


Time: 3 hours

Set-up: Shop classroom with aids – desks in a semi-circle

Motivation : To become comfortable working in a shop environment within the automotive trade.

Time 2 min

Instructional Activities

• Introduction to lesson and goal of the day

Student Activities

• Listen


• None

45 min

  • Introduction to main components of welding safety – follow PowerPoint
  • Hand out vocabulary list to students
  • Model signs for new vocabulary

• Listen

  • Power Point
  • Hand out #1 – Vocab

45 min

  • Have learners practice vocabulary in groups of 2 – 3
  • Walk around and monitor progress – assisting as necessary

• Practice new signs • Help each


• Hand out #1 – vocab

45 min

• Practice interpreting 20 min video lesson while being video taped. Done in pairs each taking turns to team with each other.

• Interpret video

segment while recording video

  • Projector and/or TV unit
  • Video Camera

60 min

  • Students will review their own work with their partner
  • Walk around and check in with each group – be available if anyone calls for specific feedback

• Work as a team to provide


• Projector and/or TV

2 min

• Wrap up – ensure everyone felt as if they learned and feel more comfortable in this setting.

• Listen and give


• None


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