Virtual Showcase: Planing a Lesson (PAL) project

What’s involved in creating an LBS lesson that flows?

A Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) lesson is a narrow, yet revealing window into the complexities, challenges, and rich opportunities so much a part of teaching adult learners who also are aiming to strengthen their digital skills. Whether you are teaching fully online, delivering instruction through a hybrid model, or are fully back in a physical classroom, planning an engaging lesson where skills are honed, connections are made, and a meaningful use of digital technologies is applied, is likely what you aspire to.

During the session, we shared how the Planning a Lesson (PAL) working group came together and explored the intricacies of lesson planning by considering the on-the-ground realities of teaching LBS learners and integrating technology whenever possible. Learn how we met regularly to discuss and identify the common challenges practitioners face before a lesson begins, during the lesson itself, and after a lesson, and how the insights we shared and the tasks we reflected on became the foundation for co-developing resources aimed at bringing flow and deeper learning into lesson planning.

Some tips and lesson planning resources were shared and a sneak peek into the Planning a Lesson website that houses the PAL resources.


Olga Herrmann
AlphaPlus – PAL Project Lead

With twenty-five years of experience supporting adult learners along their unique learning journeys, Olga led the Planning a Lesson (PAL) project drawing on her skills as a seasoned community-based LBS practitioner, an ESL instructor, a vocational counsellor, and an adult education researcher. Her commitment to good teaching that respects adult learners and the real-world skills they bring to their own learning, coupled with her passion for practitioner collaboration and innovation is what set the stage for the PAL project. 

Olga is thrilled to have facilitated the working group discussions which were fertile ground for the co-creation of the PAL suite of resources. The working group’s robust teaching experiences, keen insights, diligence, and thoughtful considerations resulted in the co-development of resources that the LBS field will be able to use in order to enhance digital delivery as they engage learners through the lens of purposeful digital integration.

Georgina Smith
OCSB – Working Group Member

Georgina has worked in adult education (mostly LBS as well as ESL) since 2010. Prior to that, she was an elementary teacher. Georgina is an LBS Instructor with the Ottawa Catholic School Board. She has designed and taught a variety of courses including employment programs, computer skills and academic upgrading. 

Joe Spencer
OCSB – Working Group Member

Joe is an Ontario Certified Teacher who has experience working in education both in Ontario and Nova Scotia. He has worked as an instructor in the Adult Learning and Skills Development department with the Ottawa Catholic School Board (OSCB) since 2022. Joe has taught computer skills, employment preparation, and life skills and has facilitated a remedial class for learners taking online high school credit courses. He currently delivers the Virtual Academic Upgrading course in the OCSB Adult Learning and Skills Development program and also teaches high school.

John Stackhouse
TLG – Working Group Member

When John is not in front of his computer taking care of his adult learners at The Literacy Group (TLG) Cambridge location, he is waiting for the day when he can take his twin granddaughters out for a ride on his motorcycle with their Papa John and then curl up on the couch and watch the New York Giants football game on TV. 

Leila Naderi
PTP – Working Group Member

Leila is a dedicated educator at PTP Adult Learning and Employment Programs with a profound passion for teaching adult learners. With a diverse background spanning several years teaching ESL internationally, she has developed a deep understanding of cross-cultural communication and seeks to empower learners with the skills and confidence to navigate the digital world. 

Smita Parpani
TDSB – Working Group Member

Smita started her teaching career in England in 2009 as an Adult ESL instructor and then continued as a Functional Skills instructor until 2016 where she used technology synchronously in her classes to make the teaching topics more interesting and engaging. As part of her teaching duties, Smita designed Schemes of Work, prepared lesson plans, assessment plans, and assessment activities. Currently, Smita works as an LBS instructor at the Toronto District School Board (since 2017), and also teaches Microsoft Office workshops. 

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