05 MARCH 2020

Planning Your Cambridge Global Perspectives™ Lessons

Planning Your Cambridge Global Perspectives™ Lessons

Just like a recipe for a meal, successful Global Perspectives lessons have a list of key ingredients. Each of these ingredients will add something valuable to your classroom. From choosing your topic to communicating learning goals, follow this recipe for an excellent lesson.

Learning objectives

When planning any Global Perspectives lesson, the learning objectives from the curriculum framework are your starting point. They focus on the development of skills, e.g. ‘Construct relevant research questions’ for the skill of research in Stages 7 and 8 of the lower secondary programme.

Learning goals

Learning goals communicate to learners what you expect them to achieve, or be working towards achieving, by the end of the lesson and come from the learning objectives. For example, the learning objective: ‘Construct relevant research questions’, might be:

  • explain the term 'research'

  • recognise a good research question

  • write a good research question

Success criteria

Your success criteria will align with the learning goals. They will also be suitable for the age of your learners and allow you and them to judge whether they have achieved their goals, e.g. ‘I think I can explain the term ‘research’’; ‘I can recognise a good research question’; ‘I can write at least one good research question’.


You will need to choose a topic that enables learners to achieve their learning goals. This can be any topic, as the focus of the learning objectives is the development of skills. However, it’s a good idea to choose a topic that you and your learners are interested in and already know something about


You need to have appropriate resources to hand at the start of the lesson. These include:

  • the topic you will be developing the skills through

  • any texts or video/audio clips you plan to use

  • something to play video/audio clips on

  • a language support handout if appropriate

  • computers and the internet

  • any exemplars you want to use to scaffold learning, e.g. learners work or worked examples

Prior learning

A short (5-10 mins) prior learning activity at the start of the lesson helps to build on your learners’ previous knowledge. This might be from other Global Perspectives lessons or another subject. It allows you to identify any gaps in their learning so that you can support them appropriately, e.g. by providing a language support handout or asking learners to work in pairs/small groups.

Starter activity

Starter activities are short activities (5-10 mins) designed to grab your learners’ attention and create interest and engagement. They allow you to identify any issues and decide what to do next, e.g. you can point learners in the direction of the glossary in their skills book if there are key words they don’t understand. Using an image, a song, a podcast or a short video clip can also enthuse learners about the topic ready for the main activity.

Global Perspectives Starter Activity Main activity

The main activity will take up the majority of the lesson. You will need to support learners appropriately by scaffolding using exemplars, and grouping learners into pairs or small groups. Whole class discussions will also feature during a main activity as learners clarify and consolidate  their own thinking and understanding. An example of a main activity might be to produce questions in small groups for a questionnaire to find out about a local issue.

Independent reflection

As the name suggests, an independent reflection activity allows learners to look back at the work they have done in the lesson and reflect on their own learning and understanding. This does not necessarily need to be done in class, and can be quite powerful if learners are given time to think deeply once they are away from the classroom setting.


After reflecting on their own learning, you can encourage learners to set their own learning targets for the next lesson or series of lessons. For example, if a learner identifies that they are good at writing research questions, a target might be to help someone else develop a good research question.

Topic review

As well as reflecting on the skill(s) they have been developing, learners can enhance their reflection skills by looking back on the topic. They might use the following sentence starters:

  • I was surprised to discover that...

  • I didn't know...

  • I now think...

Keely Laycock is an experienced trainer for all levels of Cambridge Global Perspectives and is also the author of our Cambridge Lower Secondary and Cambridge IGCSE™ and O Level Global Perspectives resources. For more teaching and learning guidance, explore our Cambridge Global Perspectives resources today and find the perfect fit for your classroom needs.