This is the lesson plan I wrote for the January 5, 2010 first meeting of the after-school chess club at Strickland MS. In reality, the plan was followed. Clarifications about what actually happened compared to the plan or additional helpful comments on resources are added in [brackets]. Supplies used are in CAPS. The day went well for the 11 students that attended. A teacher also dropped by for the second half of the class.


I. I will introduce myself and emphasize that we are the SMS team. That is, we learn from each other through a rotating schedule of trainer-trainee days, ladder games,

and my instruction. You may come to chess every week, which is best, or whenever you can attend. Behavioral expectations are:

  1. Follow my instructions or your trainer's instructions the first time those instructions are given.
  2. Treat equipment and each other well.
  3. Consequences for not following A. and B.=

1) Warning

2) 2nd time warned in a day: have to sit out the remainder of the chess day

3) If you have to sit out three different chess days, you will leave the chess club

  1. As the SMS Chess Team, we are preparing for:
  2. Possible match versus Sanger Middle School
  3. May 1st tournament, held here at SMS library with other Denton ISD middle school's top 11 players invited. (Top 8 players from each school can score team points, but all 11 can compete for individual prizes).
  4. Chess will run every Tuesday from 3:40 to 5 p.m. and end on the last Tuesday in April.

III. I will play the "blindfold square game" with students while returning students (trainers) prepare speeches, with a maximum of two minutes per speech. WALL HOOK needed for demonstration board for blindfold square game. [After this, we went to have snack in the cafeteria. We actually got a classroom to meet in for the chess part of our instruction, which was great. The cafeteria seemed noisy when we went there for snack. We returned to the classroom for IV., V., and VI. below]

  1. Trainers give speeches, and Trainees (new students to chess) need PENCIL and PAPER to mark their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trainer choices. [While the students play the blindfold square game] I will look over each trainee ballot and assign trainers based on those ballots.

V. PASS OUT PHOTOCOPIES and SETS and BOARDS for trainers and trainees to work on the Pawn section of the chess book, which includes playing a Pawn Game. [The Pawn section of the chess book refers to chapter 5 of Read, Write, Checkmate: Enrich Literacy with Chess Activities (2009), the Pawn section of that chapter. The trainer-trainee checklist is in my forthcoming book People, Places, Checkmates: Teaching Social Studies with Chess (March 30, 2010).]

  1. Pack up photocopies, sets, boards, end the lesson.