Implementation Plans, Pacing, and Instructional Efficiency

October 27, 2017 Les Lynn Research, Resources, The Debatifier
Click above to download the Implementation Plan for the John Brown and Antebellum Abolitionism project

We encourage our partner school teachers working on, planning, or developing an argument-centered project or assessment to use an implementation plan, similar to the example on John Brown and Antebellum Abolitionism above.  An IP can facilitate collaboration.  It can ensure that argument-centered projects are moving along on schedule and that that movement is being tracked. It can incorporate proper single-class and full-project pacing, and prevent the project from dragging or becoming inefficient.  And an implementation plan can enable planning out of all the necessary steps to get the argument-based culminating activity or assessment.
Click above to download the Implementation Plan on Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa

Here are a few important features of an implementation plan similar to or modeled from the IP on Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Africa or the IP on Abolitionism, both above.

Each day’s actual classroom activity is listed in concise language.

We avoid grammatical mistakes or sloppiness, but we do not try to refine, fancify, or even really polish the language on these documents.  Describe simply and accurately what is taking place each class day.

The plan is structured around the essential pieces, such as the culminating assessment, and backward-designed from there. 

Starting with the project’s “landmarks” helps you make sure that there is the right amount of space between them, and that students can be rightly prepared to perform well on each.  Then having those in place on the timeline, you can fill in what should be done on the days leading up to them.

There isn’t any armature or apparatus included, such as skills objectives, standards alignment, etc.

These are important, and they need to be part of other planning instruments, but they aren’t part of an implementation plan.  An IP is streamlined and only includes the activities you are to implement each day.  It can be and often is used by teachers as a calendar at the top of mind, or top of desk, reminding them of what it is the week will bring, and what each day’s activities will entail.

Creating implementation plans should not involve duplicative planning or writing.

If you already have this planned out in your curriculum map for a unit, you can produce an IP by simply copying and pasting the implemented activities each day, and deleting any and everything else.

The pacing that implementation plans protect can be the key to a successful unit or project.

As UCLA education professor Rebecca Adler has written, there are a variety of methods to ensure proper instructional pacing, which can affect all aspects of the learning process, from engagement and interest, to recall and memory access, to thinking critically and communicating effectively in writing or speaking.

Implementation plans can, of course, be revised by “reality.”

And they should be, when field trips, unplanned days off, or other impediments prevent your following the original plan.  The key is not to set aside the IP and ignore it; try to adhere to it, where you cannot make revisions, and continue to use it.


We don’t do this with every project, but we have also on occasion developed more detailed daily instructional plans with partner teachers, such as the sample below for a unit on cosmetics, plastic surgery, and authentic beauty (which we worked on with a partner school World Language Department, and which was fully implemented in Spanish).

Click above to download the Implementation Plan on Cosmetics, Plastic Surgery, and Beauty
Click above to download the Daily Instructional Plan Sample on Cosmetics, Plastic Surgery, and Beauty

Implementation plans work to improve planning, collaboration, and execution, so we encourage you to use them, in some form or other.