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Using Canva to Design Your Lesson Plan Templates

Are you stuck in a creative rut when prepping for your classes? Do you dislike the process of creating new lesson plans? Here's where Canva has got you covered.

Canva is a free-to-use, online graphic design platform that offers users a wide range of templates, from newsletters to infographics and everything in between. More importantly, it provides a wide variety of lesson planning templates that are perfect for you to use as-is. Or you can take advantage of the tools and features available to customize them however you see fit.

You don't have to resign yourself to a bland or not-quite-right lesson plan template. Instead, you can create quality lesson plans without sacrificing your time. Getting in touch with your creativity and creating amazing content can seriously reinvigorate your teaching and make the entire process more fun for you and your students. 

Here's a simple guide to using Canva that will have you inspired in no time.

Getting Started

To start designing your lesson plan templates on Canva, sign up for free by choosing the option provided for teachers and using an email address, Google, or Facebook account. 

Once you're signed in, you'll find almost 50 lesson plan templates available for you to edit and download. Each customizable template offers a guideline for outlining objectives, materials, activities, discussion ideas, assessment strategies, and more.

As is the Canva way, you can choose from millions of stock images, graphics, and icons. Or you can upload your own. The features are easy to navigate, which makes editing super simple. You can choose fonts, change sizes, and adjust any individual element on the template itself. It's also good to know that Canva auto-saves in case of any unfortunate accidents.  

Canva for Education

Head over to Canva for Education for additional supportive content. You can select the "for teacher" option, and if you're a verified k-12 teacher, you'll have access to their education package, which includes thousands of high-quality resources and worksheets. It also lets you set up a virtual classroom and collaborate with other teachers.

Creating an Innovative Lesson Plan

Now that you have a huge selection of inspiring templates, let's see how you can make the most out of it.

Organize Your Space 

Most of the templates provide useful guidelines and prompts but don't be afraid to change headings to be relevant to you and your class. You can have both an aesthetically pleasing plan and an engaging resource. You can alternate using summaries and bullets to include activities, discussions, or whatever else you plan to include in the lesson. 

It's very easy to put together a neatly typed-out plan that you can follow step by step. Decide what size font works best for you and how much information you need to feel comfortable while teaching. There's nothing worse than a cluttered lesson plan that's hard to read at the moment you need it. 


Make sure you know what materials you'll need for the lesson and require your students to bring to class with them. Putting it in your lesson plans beforehand will ensure there are no surprises when it comes to teaching the lesson. You can create a weekly schedule on Canva to outline what activities will require materials.  

Use Visual Aids

Presenting new material can be especially hard in the age of social media, where students are used to apps like TikTok presenting content a certain way, fast and catchy. Now you can make your content even more visually appealing by using high-quality designs. 

Make use of other templates and infographics. Create engaging slides out of the selection of designs available. It doesn't matter if you're teaching virtually or in-person—design matters.

You can even build your own "brand," using trademark designs. This may turn out to be a fun project for you as you work out your signature style. Colors, fonts, and design style go a long way in building a relationship between you and your students. They will become more comfortable knowing how you present your classes, and this aids in building trust.

Assess and Give Feedback

Incorporate how you will assess your students in your lesson plan. Indicate the specific goal outcome. Is there a standard of measurement you could use, or can it be a class discussion? You can note any additional evaluation techniques and add a link for a rubric to provide feedback to your students. 


It's helpful to outline what activities you wish to get through in class and extension activities you want students to do at home. Perhaps you want to add this information to the template you're using or simply make a distinction between what is classwork and what is homework. Include additional exercises or activities that you can fall back on if there's a chance you'll finish the lesson early. 

Teach your Students to use Canva

Canva can be an immensely creative tool for your students to use throughout their school career. It is also a creative way to engage and interact with the different subject material and incorporate a digital design curriculum into your class. You may be surprised at the high level of work your students end up producing.

The mobile app is very user-friendly if you choose to incorporate this into the lesson. It's good to know that you can save all the content you create in one place. You can switch between desktop and mobile if you need to edit on the go.

Beyond Lesson planning

Once you start using Canva, you'll realize what a great tool it really is. Teachers can use it for so much more than lesson planning, and so can your students. Browse through Canva's layouts and templates to get ideas for activities, take your presentations to the next level, or create beautifully visual worksheets and posters.


Written by Jessica Holdsworth

Education World Contributor

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