Kaley Esselborn

A new school year is exciting and daunting all at the same time. Maybe you have some ideas for new things you want to try or old stuff you’re ready to revamp. Whatever your situation, EVERFI is a great tool to support engaging, student-centered lesson plans that don’t require a ton of time on your part. 

The best ways to lesson plan for Back to School with EVERFI

As you gear up for the new academic year, arming yourself with a robust lesson plan is essential for a successful ‘Back to School’ phase. But, how can you develop the best plans for your classroom? The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all, as each learning environment is unique. That said, these four tips should guide you in creating an effective lesson plan tailored for the back to school period.

1. Plan ahead before the year gets busy

This seems like a no-brainer – like obviously that’s what you’re doing right now! But help out your October or January self by looking beyond those first few weeks of school. As you review the EVERFI catalog, start flagging places in your curriculum or pacing guide where particular EVERFI lessons will fit, so you don’t forget to come back to them later. Maybe you’re perusing the catalog for culture-building lessons to start the year strong (The Compassion Project and Character Playbook are perfect for that!) and you notice Future Goals: Hockey Scholar has a lesson about angles which will work really well in your math unit in February. Go to your calendar or pacing guide for February and make the note now. Then when the time comes, you’ll have a lesson plan ready to go.

2. Choose a few lessons for emergency sub plans

As a former middle school teacher, I know sometimes planning for an absence is more work than just showing up to school, even if you’re sick. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Find 3 or 4 EVERFI lessons that you’d like to share with your students that aren’t tied to specific units and could be done at any time. Add them to the EVERFI classes you’re setting up at the beginning of the year, take 10 minutes one day to help students get logged in and comfortable with the platform, and boom – your sub plan is done! It’s easy for a sub to manage, keeps students engaged in quality learning, and you can easily track student progress from home or when you get back to school.

3. Use online lessons as review or scaffolding for new topics

A new year brings students with varying levels of understanding in the topics you plan to cover. Because EVERFI lessons are done independently, they’re a great tool to help all students refresh on a particular topic or get some additional support before starting something new. Plan to use them as an intro to a unit or assign them to students individually as needed. 

4. Take advantage of offline resources to create a blended experience

Every EVERFI course comes with supplemental offline resources like discussion guides, lesson plans, glossaries, and extension activities. Use the glossary to establish key vocabulary before starting a lesson and pull out a few key discussion questions to spark interest in the topic. After students finish the online lesson, use one of the offline lesson plans to deepen understanding and application of the topics. Using the online and offline materials in tandem creates a more robust and impactful experience to ensure students are able to remember the content.

What makes for an effective lesson plan?

An effective lesson plan isn’t just about what you teach, but how you teach. It should capture your students’ attention, cater to different learning styles, and facilitate progress tracking. That’s where EVERFI shines! By incorporating interactive online lessons into your curriculum, you can enhance engagement and understanding. 

With offline resources such as discussion guides and extension activities, you can deepen comprehension and foster critical thinking. This approach ensures an effective and exciting learning journey.

How to write a lesson plan

Writing a lesson plan is a strategic task that demands precision, creativity, and a deep understanding of your students’ needs. Begin by outlining your objectives: What knowledge and skills do you want your students to gain from the lesson? Once your goals are set, design engaging activities and relevant assignments that align with these objectives. It’s essential to incorporate diverse teaching methods to cater to different learning styles in your classroom. 

Additionally, consider strategies for assessing student understanding throughout and at the end of the lesson. Flexibility is key – a great lesson plan allows for adjustments based on student feedback and progress. Writing a well-rounded lesson plan might be challenging, but the rewards of a successful teaching session make it well worth the effort.

Preparing for Back to School 

As you’re preparing for the year, don’t forget – you also have the EVERFI team on hand to support you, whether by recommending courses for your content area, supplying standards alignment for your specific state, or sharing best practices. We are in your corner always!


Kaley Esselborn's headshot
Kaley Esselborn is a functional subject matter expert for EVERFI, based in Indiana. At EVERFI, she supports educators across the US and Canada as they implement EVERFI’s no-cost resources related to character education, health and wellness, history, STEM, and career readiness. As a former adult ESL teacher, middle school ELA teacher, and parent involvement educator, Kaley feels passionately about equipping every student – young or old – with the skills they need for lifelong success.