Identify the topic for your Lesson Study cycle.

5-15 minutes

  • Identify the topic you will work on, and why
Teacher referencing chart paper while speaking in front of colleagues out of the frame

Collectively Decide on Subject Matter

Agree on a topic that you would like to study with your team and bring to life in your research lesson.

Guiding Questions for Topic Selection

Some teams have already chosen a topic (e.g., fractions, argumentative writing) before beginning their work together. Other teams choose whatever topic will be taught at the time of the research lesson. Both approaches are fine. If your team has not yet settled on a topic, consider the following questions:

  • What topics are important and persistently difficult for students?
  • “What topics do we find difficult to teach?
  • Are there new curricula, frameworks, standards or teaching approaches that we want to understand and try out as part of our lesson study cycle?
Summarize in your team notes the focus of your topic and describe why your team chose this focus. See the Resources section for examples from other lesson study teams.

Some Cautions

Lesson study is not just about a single lesson. At this point in your lesson study work, you should be thinking about a content area and topic, not just a single lesson. As you study the topic your ideas about a specific lesson may change radically.

Lesson study is a chance to stretch your thinking. So try to choose a topic that is challenging or where there is something new you want to learn–not one where you already feel successful.


Examples of Lesson Study Topics