While a lesson plan might be prepared in more or less detail and in many possible formats, it may contain some or all of the following items:
- title of the lesson
- keywords (especially useful for indexing & cross-referencing)
- amount of time to be spent on each activity
- a list of required materials
- lead-in to the lesson
- instructional input
- independent practice
- continuity - if required
- analysis - while not part of the preparation for the lesson, it may be useful to note down how the lesson went, possible improvements in content or time management, and so on.
 SWOT analysis
When preparing a lesson plan or classroom activity, it may be useful to consider the following attributes of the students as individuals or the class as a whole and any external conditions that may affect the success of the lesson:
- Strengths: attributes of the student or class that will lead to successful completion of the activity. May include motivation, level
- Weaknesses: attributes of the student or class that may lead to the activity failing in its aim. May include motivation, level
- Opportunities: external conditions that are helpful to achieving the aims. May include novelty of the activity, perceived usefulness of the material
- Threats: external conditions which could affect the results. May include factors such as time, number of students attending
 Other considerations
How often an individual teacher will actually want, or be able to, complete a full lesson plan is perhaps a matter for some debate. Some links are provided below to what appear to be real teacher-generated lesson plans, and it may be instructive to compare these to the theoretical ideal.
 See also
- Downloadable teacher training packs by Scott Thornbury
- EFL/ESL Lessons and Lesson Plans A selection of lesson plans from The Internet TESL Journal
- ESL Teacher Lesson Plans & Worksheets A selection of lesson plans from usingenglish.
- BBC Learning English Lesson plan for listening exercise
- Tennessee Adult Education Professional Development ESOL lesson plan