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Massage Today
April, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 04

Plans for Lessons and Life

By Rita Woods, LMT

Last month, we discussed writing learning objectives. This month, we will use those objectives to write lesson plans and student evaluations. A lesson plan is a detailed plan on how you plan to present the material. A lesson plan is the blueprint used to achieve your objectives.

Lesson plans can be adapted to any environment or subject. While in school, I often used the same format as a learning tool. I also used this format for achieving corporate goals. With a little creativity, you easily can put them to good use in several areas of your life.

Lesson plans can be simplified by seeing them as consisting of only two parts. The first part is the instructor activity. The second part is the student activity. Depending on your requirements, you can make them simple or elaborate. Remember, they function as a blueprint to achieve your goals. They keep you focused on the material to be covered and usually provide the method of presentation. This is particularly important if you are preparing a continuing education program.

Creating a Lesson Plan

Take a piece of paper and draw a line right down the middle. At the top of the first column, write "Instructor Activity." At the top of the second column, write "Student Activity."

Write your objective at the top of the instructor activity column. Let's say your objective is: "The student will be able to demonstrate four basic massage strokes." You have two hours allotted for this objective. Divide your time accordingly. For example, allow 30 minutes for your introduction and demonstration and the remaining time for student practice. Your lesson plan would look similar to this:

Instructor Activity:

Objective: The student will be able to demonstrate four basic massage strokes and understand their primary use.
8:00-8:30: Introduce through lecture and demonstration: petrissage, effleurage, tapotement and compression.
8:30-8:45: Break up into groups of two in clinic.
8:45-9:00: Petrissage demo once, then walk about class offering correction and suggestions.
9:00-9:15: Effleurage demo once then walk about class offering correction and suggestions.
9:15-9:30: Tapotement demo once then walk about class offering correction and suggestions.
9:30-9:45: Compression demo once then walk about class offering correction and suggestions.
9:45-10:00: Q & A time. Interact with students and get feedback.
Student Activity:

8:00-8:30: Listen and watch.
8:30-8:45: Form groups of two for practice.
8:45-9:00: Practice petrissage with partner. Give and receive.
9:00-9:15: Practice effleurage with partner. Give and receive.
9:15-9:30: Practice tapotement with partner. Give and receive.
9:30-9:45: Practice compression with partner. Give and receive.
9:45-10:00: Ask questions. Interact with instructor.

The above example is a simple layout, yet remains true to the premise of a lesson plan. At the end of the segment, week or module, you have all the material you need to develop a quiz or performance evaluation. Test questions always should come from the learning objectives. Look at any textbook that offers objectives and end of chapter review questions. Without fail, you will see the direct relationship between the test question and the learning objective.

I hope the information I have covered in the previous three articles helps with planning your next class or continuing education course. My next article will discuss safety issues surrounding the ingredients in our personal care products, cosmetics and our massage and spa lotions and creams. Tune in for the latest.

Click here for previous articles by Rita Woods, LMT.


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