Lessons of Effective Instruction

Lessons developed by Michigan teachers can be used by teachers, schools, or districts, individually or in groups, to model, problem-solve, and spark reflection and professional learning.


Below are links to eight video-taped lessons that incorporate effective instructional strategies designed to engage all students in learning. Each lesson is accompanied by a PDF document with questions that will generate reflection and discussion.


These lessons feature Michigan teachers engaged with teaching and learning in their own elementary, middle and high school classrooms. They incorporate Fred Newmann's widely accepted Standards for Teaching and Learning (higher-order thinking, deep knowledge, substantive conversation, and connections to the world beyond the classroom) and meet Standards, Benchmarks, and Grade Level/Course Content Expectations and Guidelines:

The following lessons are available in outline form only :

  • English Language Arts (coming soon)
  • Mathematics (coming soon)
  • Music (coming soon)
  • Science (coming soon)
  • Social Studies (coming soon)
  • Visual Arts (coming soon)


For professional development purposes, these video-taped lessons are posted with cues that highlight when one of Newmann's four standards of effective instruction is featured:

1.     Higher-order thinking : instruction that involves students in manipulating information and ideas by synthesizing, generalizing, explaining, or arriving at conclusions that produce new meaning and understanding for them.  


2.     Deep knowledge : instruction addresses central ideas of a topic or discipline with enough thoroughness to explore connections and relationships and to produce relatively complex understanding.


3.     Substantive conversation : students engage in extended conversational exchanges with the teacher and/or peers about subject matter in a way that builds an improved and shared understanding of ideas or topics.


4.     Connections to the World Beyond the Classroom : students make connections between substantive knowledge and either public problems or personal experiences.


The Michigan Department of Education is grateful to the educators , students, and schools who opened their doors to share their lessons with us.