How to Frame the Lesson: A Review of Fundamental Five

Frame A Lesson: Insights from Fundamental Five

It’s the beginning. It shall be good. It’s the ending: Was it good?

If the beginning of a lesson is setup with a clear understanding of ideas to be taught and why the ideas are important to learn, the teacher has done a fairly good job in setting up the lesson for students to learn. It shall be good.

If the ending of a lesson provides proof that students have completed assignments and have illustrated that they understand the assignments, the students have shown the teacher that they have benefitted from the lesson. Learning shall be good.

Presenting and completing lessons are the important ideas of framing a lesson, for only when both the teacher and the students have conducted their parts of presenting and completing lessons will the task of learning be realized. Only then will “all be good.”

Teachers must be armed with tools for teaching national standards and for executing school board approved learning requirements. These entities shoul be implemented before teachers add their own flair and pizzazz to the curriculum.

While teacher-autonomy may be desired and expected by teachers—and in many school systems encouraged—teaching the appropriate lessons that students must know for them to be successful when taking standardized tests takes precedence. It shall be good.

Therefore, the learning objective should be stated at the beginning of instruction. “It must be a deliberate act on the part of the teacher . . . The lesson objectives must be framed in concrete, student-friendly language and be presented in the form of a ‘We will . . .’ statement”’ (Fundamental Five, p. 25).


We (teacher and students) will identify the parts of speech.


You (student) will analyze the parts of speech and will share your analysis with the class. It shall be good.

The beginning of the setup is easy (identify); the ending of the setup is challenging (analyze); yet, after students have reviewed ample examples of analyzing the parts of speech, the students should be able to emulate the skill with ease or with inconspicuous aid from the teacher.

Students must believe that they analyzed the parts of speech on their own to placate their intelligence and self-esteem.

With subtlety on the teacher’s part, the teacher may indeed enforce the strategy of helping students believe in their own intelligence. It shall be good.

Thus, the lesson must be “framed” prominently on the whiteboard or blackboard or wall . . . where teacher and students may easily see and refer to the lesson throughout the duration of instruction.

Framing a lesson helps students keep in their minds lessons that are important. In the midst of a learning day, students may encounter a wealth of information. They need a system to use to help “filter” needless information at a given time.

Framing a lessons pinpoints the precise lessons that need careful thought for the lesson to be understood. It shall be good.

Fundamental Five explains “. . . a content perspective, the effectiveness of mental filters is impacted by such variables as prior academic knowledge, prior academic success, enriched and varied life experiences, motivation, and level of stress. . .” (p. 30). Thus, information for learning must be clear and focused. It shall be good.

While remembering everything deems valuable for some learners, it is indeed idealist; filtering concepts not necessary at a given time to process is more ideal.

The working memory is limited and will filter unnecessary information at given, appropriate times.

Framing a lesson brings about a type of “filtering,” allowing students to contend with the necessity of that which require their immediate focus.

While some students may have a learning advantage over some other students—due to socioeconomic factors or other enriching factors—all students have the same advantage of learning when a lesson is framed by what is to be learned and by how learning will be assessed.

Additionally, framing a lesson helps teachers to maintain a clear and concise statement of the lesson’s original intent; all subsequent instructional decisions should be made in light of that original intent, according to Fundamental Five. It shall be good.

Lessons become streamlined. The teacher simply selects the activities that will move students from the objectives to the closing tasks.

When a clear focus for learning has been framed, a teacher has the power to create activities to promulgate learning. The teacher also has the power to influence students to create their own understanding by completing lessons in their [students’] way. It shall be good.

Thus, the teacher will be present to redirect students if necssary so that students may focus on the lessons framed.

Effective instruction is about decision making. When a frame is developed for learning, all learning decisions will be followers of the lesson framed. A teacher has the power to create this importance.

Students likewise benefit from a framed lesson, for it provides a visual cue of what students are to know. The question, “Why do I need to know this,” is answered when a lesson is framed and is further explained when the teacher setups relevance for the learning.

Thus, a prominently displayed lesson, a careful instructional approach of relevance to students’ lives, the students, even the ones with a possible weak mental filter, have a means—through framing a lesson—to sort and process information, according to Fundamental Five.

By the closing day of a class’s study, students should be able to demonstrate what they have learned and provide directions for the teacher to assess or to revert or to proceed or to celebrate.

Framing a lesson is critical to the overall instructional goal of any one class. Without a lesson to be sought, all other following activities of instruction will lack clarity, at best.

Frame the lesson. You will then realize “all is good.”

Cynthia Mathews

Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction.


Cain, S. and Laird, M. The Fundamental Five. 2011. Cain/Laird






Published by cynthiamathews

I'm an innovative spirit, one who seeks new and practical ways to learn about life. I enjoy exploring innovative styles to motivate people to persevere in a challenging world. Having a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Curriculum & Instruction, I am inspired to maintain a life long learning experience that will allow me to share my knowledge with others. My expertise includes detecting apathy in individuals and prescribing ways to motivate them to be their best. To initiate this endeavor, I create and conduct personal and professional development programs. I write briefs and pamphlets and instructional guides to inspire, and I speak--upon request--to those who need a reminder of their inner excellence. My blog's main focus is to document my research on motivation and curriculum instruction and to share with subscribers the understanding, the ideas, and the strategies that result from my research. I am a native of Alabama, a teacher, and an author. I look forward to learning with you.