Creating Lesson Objectives

Lesson objectives are succinct sentences that describe what you would like students to be able to do as a result of the lesson. In other words they are the goals of the lesson. They are also known as learning goals or learning objectives.

Lesson Objectives/Goals have three parts:
1) Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT)
2) the action verb
3) the content of the lesson

1) SWBAT – Each objective should begin with the statement Students Will Be Able To… (SWBAT) or “Students will…” This places the focus on what the students will learn rather than what the teacher will teach. Some catechists and CCD teachers prefer to use the terms “learners” or “children” rather than students. This is perfectly fine so feel free to use whatever terminology you feel fits.

2) Action Verb – When you design lesson plan objectives make sure you include an action verb that describes what you want students to be able to do with the content they have learned. Will you have the students explain a concept? Compare and contrast? Identify? Define? Each of these verbs are “action” verbs not passive like “know,” “learn,” or “understand.” They require students to use what they know, learn or understand. Make sure the action verbs you choose are challenging yet age-appropriate for your students. Don’t plan an entire lesson around your eighth graders defining some vocabulary terms. Challenge them to think critically about the vocabulary terms. However, if you teach elementary students, defining and identifying may be challenging enough. I will be returning to this topic with posts on Bloom’s Taxonomy (Cognitive Domain), the Affective Domain, Moral Domain, and Spiritual Domain.

3) Content of the Lesson – The end of the lesson objective sentence describes the content of your lesson. Be specific about what you want your students to learn here so that you can stay on task during the lesson.

Examples of Lesson Objectives:

Elementary Level

  • SWBAT name the four Gospels.
  • SWBAT recite the Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be, and Oh My Jesus from memory.
  • SWBAT explain that the Last Supper was the first mass celebrated with his Apostles the night before he died.

Middle School Level

  • SWBAT categorize the New Testament books as Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters (Epistles) and the Book of Revelation.
  • SWBAT identify which beads connect to the prayers of the rosary (Hail Mary, Our Father, Glory Be, and Oh My Jesus, Apostles Creed, and Hail Holy Queen).
  • SWBAT build a diorama of the paschal mystery.

High School Level

  • SWBAT compare and contrast the synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John.
  • SWBAT meditate on the mysteries of the rosary.
  • SWBAT analyze the significance of the paschal mystery for the Jews of the time of Jesus.

Related Posts:
How to Lesson Plan in Religion and Catechesis


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  1. Madeline says:

    I would like to know if you have a list of religious objective for the basic classes

    • Hi Madeline, I’m not sure what you mean by “basic classes.” Can you give me some more information? Have you looked at your textbook teacher manual?