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Lesson Plans


NOCAC Head Start staff will plan and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences as outlined in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and the Creative Curriculum, 5th Edition.



  1. Lesson plans will be completed by each teaching team bi-weekly.
  2. The objective of the lesson plan is to purposefully plan for the needs of the children.
  3. The environmental portion of the lesson plan is essential for the classroom to provide the children with the appropriate amount of engaging provocations to spark their curiosity and sense of wonder. The environmental portion consists of:
    1. Blocks
    2. Dramatic Play
    3. Table Toys/Games
    4. Art
    5. Library
    6. Writing
    7. Discovery
    8. Music
    9. Sensory Table
    10. Technology
  4. The Lesson Plan also includes the following service areas:
    1. Cooking (link to the Cooking Experience Policy in Nutrition)
    2. Nutrition
    3. Health
    4. Dental
    5. Safety
    6. Transportation
  5. The learning objectives need to be aligned with the Creative Curriculum, 5th Edition and the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework (ELOF).
  6. The teacher will complete all activity sections and individualization consisting of:
    1. School Readiness Goals (SRG):
      1. Staff will use the overall program SRG until each teacher completes checkpoints. Once the first rounds of checkpoints are completed, the teacher will plan using class SRG based on overall needs of the class rather than the program.
    2. Brain Smart Start (15 minutes):
      1. Brain Smart Start is the first large group of the day.
      2. The components of Brain Smart Start are:
        1. Welcome song
        2. School Family song
        3. Brain Smart Time
        4. Celebrations
        5. Wish Wells
        6. Commitments
        7. Safekeeper
        8. Beat from your Seat Song
    3. Writing Workshop (writing experience) (10 minutes)
      1. The Beat from Your Seat and the writing activity can be done separately due to specific time restrictions in public school settings.  The Education Manager needs to provide permission for a schedule change.
      2. Each day, children will focus on different parts of writing skills.
        1. Letter Writing
        2. Self-Portrait
        3. Number Writing
        4. Writing Name
    4. Small group (15 min):
      1. Small groups will have a daily focus of Literacy/Language, Art, Math, and STEAM (1 per day).
      2. The Literacy/Language and Math lessons will come from Teach Resource books at each site.
      3. Each lesson will be used for two weeks with the second week being extended from the first week lesson.
    5. Interactive Story & Children’s Choice (15 minutes)
      1. Teaching staff will read a story to the children and also have materials provided for the children to also be included in the story.  (For ex. Story props, puppets, children acting out the parts of the story.)
    6. Facilitated Large Motor (30 minutes)
      1. Teachers will have a large motor activity for the children to do that promotes different large motor focus, for at least 15 minutes.
      2. For the last 15 minutes, the teachers will have supplies for the children to continue to use their large motor skills to interact with the children and the teaching staff.
    7. Music & Movement (10 minutes)
      1. Components that are done during music and movement are:
        1. Conscious Discipline Activities
        2. I Love You Rituals
        3. Health
        4. Safety
        5. Transportation
    8. Reflection Small Group (15 minutes)
      1. This is a small group setting that the teachers will discuss with the children topics to support Emergent Curriculum and create a web of topics that the children want to learn about. This is the beginning stage of Project Based learning.
      2. Teaching staff will document what is being discussed.  Documentation will be used for: future lesson planning, to provide a visual representation of the children’s thoughts, and to support the beginning of a project or study.
  7. Resources Used to Plan:
    1. Resources that are approved are listed on the lesson plan.
    2. Lesson plans are based on the children’s developmental level (screenings and assessments), scaffold as appropriate (Creative Curriculum and DRDP), and their interest (Emergent Curriculum).
  8. Lesson Plans are due to the CCM 1 week prior to implementation for review.
  9. PLAN activities based on the child’s skill level and interests.
    1. Activities should extend the children’s thinking and be both child and adult initiated.
  10. Use the assessment data when planning activities/lessons.
    1. Including but not limited to: School Readiness Goals, ChildPlus DRDP (Observations and Reports), ASQ, DECA


Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:    1302.31(1)(iv)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:    
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:    
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   8/7/17 Reviewed Date:   8/23/22
Approved By Policy Council:   8/7/17 Revision Approved By Policy Council:    
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