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How To Write Long Range Plans

Learn how to write long range plans with these simple steps. Long range plans are great for digger deeper into curriculum planning.


Writing long range plans (sometimes also called a “scope and sequence”) is an important method for digging deeper into the curriculum expectations/standards and ensuring you cover all the required material before the end of the year.

Here is my process for creating long range plans for the subjects I teach.

How To Write Long Range Plans

  1. Print off a paper copy or use a digital monthly calendar for your school year.
  2. Write in any dates you currently know about, such as field trips, holidays, testing, and special events.
  3. Print off or use a digital copy of the required curriculum for each subject and grade level (TEKS, Common Core, Provincial Curriculum) you must teach. I prefer a printed copy so I can annotate in the margins; however, there are great Google tools to help you annotate PDFs.
  4. Close read the curriculum expectations/standards once without annotations. Then, read over the curriculum again and make notes in the margins. Use sticky notes to write longer, more detailed notes. As I am reading through the curriculum, I make notes on possible lessons, units, resources, books, or thoughts I have. These will help me create my long range plans.
  5. Use highlighters to colour-code expectations that fit together, e.g. expectations/standards that relate to spelling and grammar or non-fiction reading/writing.
  6. Using a calendar and a pencil, start to map out when you will cover each expectation or set of expectations and how long you will spend teaching each topic.
  7. Remember to leave some buffer room around holiday times. At my school, many students are absent the day before any major holiday break (e.g. Christmas, March/Spring Break). Those are not going to be good days to start or end any major unit of study because you will be missing many students.
  8. Once you have finished writing your long range plans, look them over and show the plans to a colleague. Ask for feedback to see if you have forgotten to include something.
  9. Need some inspiration? Have a look at how I structure my long range plans with this free resource.
  10. Now it is time to focus on writing unit plans that support your curriculum and follow the sequence of your long range plans. For unit planning ideas, click here.

Although writing long range plans may seem like a daunting task, it is a valuable experience.

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