Lesson Plans

Below are web sites with good collections of lesson plans for adult learners, including lessons for: basic literacy, adult basic education, adult secondary education, and English language learning. There is a link to more curriculum and lesson plan web sites which focus on integrating basic and work-related skills, and there is a link to an online lesson plan builder. At the end are three web-based lesson plans by (1990's) Boston area teachers that were created in a project of the Adult Literacy Resource Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

2000 Families First Idea Book: Integrating Work Skills and Basic Skills

A 207-page teacher-to- teacher on-line collection of communication, decision-making, interpersonal and lifelong learning skills lesson plans by Tennessee adult educators. The collection includes lessons such as:

The appendix includes skills identified in the SCANS Report and information about the Equipped For the Future (EFF) Standards and Framework. (Also see Workforce Education Lab below.)

Arizona Association for Lifelong Learning Internet-based Lessons

Central Illinois Adult Education Service Center - Lesson Plans

GED as Project

A web site with GED curriculum in the five areas that has a project-based focus.

GED Illinois Teacher Resources GED Lesson Plans Database

GED 2002 Teachers' Handbook of Lesson Plans

100 online lessons designed to help Florida teachers prepare students for the GED tests.

Literacy Assistance Center: Curricula & Lesson Plans
Black History, Women's History, workforce development (for example, researching companies online), ESOL lessons, and more.

Learn to improve reading and writing using mysteries

New York Times Daily Lesson Plan

Northeast Literacy Tech: Using Lesson Plans

Lesson plans incorporating Internet resources

Northwest LINCS Lesson Plans

One World, One People ESL Lessons

Online Expert Trainer Lesson Plans from ABLE Net

Lesson plans for literacy, basic education and GED preparation

Online Publications of the Louisiana State Literacy Resource Center

Outreach & Technical Assistance Network (OTAN)
One must first register for this Sacramento County, California Office Of Education-sponsored web site, but it's free and easy to do. The database includes lessons for: ABE/ASE/GED; Adults with Disabilities; ESL/ELL/Citizenship and EL Civics; Older Adults; Parent Consumer Education; Career Technical Education; Corrections Education; and more.

Pennsylvania Department of Education Curriculum Plans and Lesson Plans

English Literacy/Civics Curriculum Plans

Rainforest Teaching Modules

There are several basic science experiments here that require only household objects. This may be useful for teaching science -- without a science lab.

The Study Place

Adult education teachers' lesson plans. Make your own. Store them online for students to access. Use/adapt others' lesson plans.

Thirteen/ed online

A variety of adult education lesson plans developed by New York City teachers.

Utah GED Educator Resources - 2002 GED Lesson Plans

Language arts, mathematics and other lesson plans

Workforce Education Lab

World Wide Web Institute Lesson Plans

Web-based lesson plans designed by adult education teachers in New York City and New England.

Online Lesson Plan Builder
The OTAN Online Lesson Plan Builder web site

This is designed for out of school youth and adult education programs and, although it is tailored for California, it is useful for programs and schools in other states. It is intended for both new and experienced teachers. It uses a well-respected model for lesson planning (Warm up, Introduction, Presentation, Practice, Evaluation, Application) developed many years ago by UCLA Professor, Madeline Hunter. It adds to this some other useful tools and features. For example:
1) You can select objectives (competencies) from two nationally-recognized sets of adult education curriculum standards: CASAS and SCANS. (OTAN may add other competencies sets/standards in the future.)
2) You can use Rubistar, a free, online tool to create rubrics with which to assess learning.
3) The "Shopping List of Verbs for Making Objectives More Precise" will help you in designing good objectives.
4) You can upload quizzes or worksheets .
5) The Lesson Plan Builder allows you to use "Backward Design" *

How it works :

Using the OTAN online template, you design a lesson plan, setting goals and objectives, and working your way through the parts of the plan through to the evaluation. You can do it a section at a time, saving the section and returning to it whenever you like. At the end, you can submit it, and/or save it as a word file or a .pdf to your own computer. You can build a series of lesson plans, all adding up to a curriculum unit, or only do one lesson. A lesson plan can be simple, a plan for one period, or it can be complex and involve many periods.
The lesson content can be print-based, and/or video or audio, including Web pages. You could design lessons using web resources (as I have done) or materials in your classroom, worksite or community.

* "Backward Design*, a powerful planning approach, suggests that lesson planners work on a plan to evaluate students' attainment of the objective before planning instructional activities. By identifying evaluations in advance, instructors can more appropriately select materials and activities which will best prepare students for success."

Three Adult literacy Resource Intitute Lesson Plans ( Last updated 10/29/2004)

The writers of these lesson plans, some of the earliest web-based lesson plans, were teachers (and other practitioners) who were enrolled in the Spring, 1996 Boston Internet Training Project workshops funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Education.

Each Lesson Plan uses a Web site which the writer thought would be useful for her/his students.


Women's History

Cara Streck
Project Hope
Boston, MA
June, 1996


Urban, Black and Latina women on AFDC working to get their GED's. They can all use commercial educational software, whether it is on a CD or the hard disk. We are encouraging each to learn to use the word processor in Microsoft Works.


1) to help students understand that women's history has not been included in the "official" accounts and needs to be; 2) to enable each student to connect with the story of a woman in a field of interest to her; 3) to give students the opportunity to practice writing and word processing skills.


4 computers - one with Internet access, one with Grolier Encyclopedia , one with Webster's Encyclopedia, one with Her Heritage


Ask students to list three events in US history. Compare lists. Ask who's missing from the picture. Talk about history always being told from a particular point of view. Tell them about quote I found on Internet: The history of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and the agreed-upon myth of its conquerors. LeSueur. Discuss. Would they like to visit a site dedicated to uncovering women's history?


Students will divide into three groups. Group 1 will access the National Women's History Project. Each will choose an occupation of interest, then a woman's name in that list. They will then do a search using a web search engine (such as Google) for any other net references to that woman.

Group 2 will access the Grolier and Webster encyclopedias and search to find each woman's name. If one is found, information will be printed out. Group 3 will access the software for Her Heritage and will find and print information available there on the women in question. Then the groups will rotate so that each student has an opportunity to choose an occupation and a name. Each will also have the chance to experience the frustration of not being able to find women's stories in traditional sources.

Follow-up: Each student will write one paragraph on the woman she has chosen, indicating her contribution to our history. These will the be entered on a word processor and shared with the group. The paragraphs themselves will be put in chronological order according to the birthdate of the woman and placed in a binder to be kept in the classroom with other history resource books.

Getting Around Boston With Ease Using Online Maps

Joyce A. Barney
Roxbury, Mass.
May, 1996


Beginning-level adult literacy students, non native English speakers who have no computer experience.


1. learn to read and use maps.
2. gain introductory knowledge of computer, mouse and Internet.
3. learn to travel around the city
4. begin exposure to culture and history of the city.


1. Participants go to Mapquest and get a map of Boston.

2. Participants will also access MBTA bus and subway schedules and route maps through the MBTA Map.

3. After becoming familiar and comfortable with the various maps, participants will concentrate on the Copley Square area of Boston, using the interactive street map. They will learn North, South, East, and West directions and will relate streets to each other and to subway stations and bus stops. Using the interactive street map they will relate Copley Square to the Dudley area (in which our adult education program, WAITT House, is located) so they will know how to go to and from both sites.

4. Participants will get printouts of the street maps and the subway and bus route maps needed to travel between Dudley Square and Copley Square.

5. As a follow-up lesson, the group will visit Copley Square, including the Boston Public Library, Trinity Church and other historic sites, as well as Copley Place and the Prudential Center.

6. Participants will actually travel by bus and subway to the sites. Later they will relate these to Internet activities.

This lesson would be part of a series of lessons which included:

1) Using the computer, mouse, and printer
2) Introduction to the Internet
3) Introduction to and reading of various maps, e.g. of their own countries, the United States, Boston.


Getting Information on Summer Camps
in a Spanish/English bilingual ESOL class

Felisa White
Mujeres Unidas En Accion
Boston, MA


Parents in a Spanish/English biligual adult ESOL class.


Getting acquainted with the Internet


Translation, reading comprehension, surfing the "Net."

Last updated 12/09/08 by