top of page

How to Plan Lessons as a Private Tutor

a woman wearing a hijab teaching a lesson using a whiteboard

Crafting engaging lesson plans lies at the heart of a successful tutoring experience. As a tutor, you understand the importance of designing captivating and motivational learning experiences tailored to your students' unique needs and interests. We've gathered some proven strategies and examples to help you understand how to plan lessons as a private tutor and keep your students excited and inspired, whether you're offering in-person or online tutoring.

How to Plan Lessons - Set Clear Learning Objectives

Begin your lesson planning by setting clear and attainable learning objectives that align with your student's goals and curriculum requirements. For example, if you're teaching a mathematics lesson on fractions, your objectives might be: "By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to identify different types of fractions, simplify fractions, and add and subtract fractions with like denominators." Establishing these objectives helps you focus your lesson and provides a framework for measuring your student's progress.

Understand Your Student's Interests

Take the time to learn about your student's interests, hobbies, and passions. If your student loves sports, you could create word problems that involve calculating distances, times, or scores in their favourite sport. Incorporating these into your lesson plans can make the learning experience more relevant and enjoyable, fostering a deeper connection between your student and the subject matter.

Incorporate a Variety of Teaching Techniques

To cater to different learning styles, incorporate a mix of teaching techniques in your lesson plans. For a history lesson, you could use visual aids like maps and timelines, facilitate group discussions on historical events, assign a short reading on a relevant topic, and engage the student in a hands-on activity, such as creating their own historical timeline. By providing diverse learning experiences, you can ensure that your student remains engaged and motivated throughout the session.

Break Lessons into Manageable Segments

Divide your lesson into smaller segments, each focused on a specific topic or skill. For a 60-minute science lesson on photosynthesis, break it into four 15-minute segments: introduction and overview, the process of photosynthesis, the importance of photosynthesis, and a hands-on activity to reinforce understanding. This approach helps maintain your student's attention and makes it easier for them to absorb and retain information. Be sure to include short breaks between segments, especially during online tutoring sessions, to help prevent mental fatigue.

Encourage Active Learning

Active learning strategies, such as problem-solving exercises, group discussions, and self-assessment, encourage students to take ownership of their learning experience. Instead of simply lecturing on a topic, have your student engage in a debate or discussion, solve problems in pairs, or create their own study materials, such as flashcards or mind maps. These methods help improve critical thinking skills, boost retention, and promote a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Make Learning Fun and Interactive

Incorporating elements of fun and interactivity can go a long way in engaging your students. For a vocabulary lesson, try using a digital tool like Quizlet to create flashcards, games, and quizzes that help students learn and retain new words. You can also use interactive whiteboards for online tutoring sessions to collaboratively work on problems or brainstorm ideas.

Build Connections to Real-Life Applications

Help your students see the relevance of their learning by connecting the subject matter to real-life situations and applications. When teaching geometry, discuss how architects and engineers use geometric concepts in designing buildings and bridges. Show examples of real-world structures that incorporate specific geometric principles, like the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Opera House.

Review and Reflect

At the end of each lesson, take a few minutes to review the key points and reflect on the learning objectives. Ask your student to summarize what they've learned and encourage them to share their thoughts, insights, and questions. For example, after a lesson on persuasive writing techniques, have your student explain the key components of a persuasive argument and discuss which techniques they found most effective. This process helps consolidate their understanding and provides you with valuable feedback to inform future lesson plans.


Creating engaging lesson plans is an essential skill for tutors who strive to captivate and motivate their students. By setting clear learning objectives, understanding your student's interests, incorporating a variety of teaching techniques, promoting active learning, and making learning fun and interactive, you can create memorable and effective lessons. Connecting subject matter to real-life applications and taking the time to review and reflect on your lessons will further enhance your students' learning experiences. With dedication, creativity, and a focus on your students' unique needs, you can make a lasting impact on their academic journey.

If you're a tutor looking for ways to increase student retention and increase your income, sign up to this FREE masterclass



bottom of page