Planning activities

Preparing lessons and activities for Cloverbuds

Planning Cloverbud activities

Whatever the delivery mode or setting.

  • Plan ahead to insure that activities are well organized.

  • Maintain a ratio of one adult/older youth for every four to six children.

  • Limit meeting times to 1 to 1½ hours using a variety of activities 10-5 minutes long.

  • Welcome each child personally.

  • Consider using songs or games to open and close the session.

  • Tell the children at the beginning of the meeting what activities have been planned. Before shifting from one activity to another, give the children 5 minutes notice of the impending change.

  • Keep snacks simple and nutritious.

  • Plan activities that have a limited number of steps and can be finished in a single meeting.

  • Be flexible. Outcomes are not always what you expect. Be prepared for children finishing early or losing interest and for any “minor disasters” that may occur.

  • Take a few minutes after each meeting to reflect on what worked well and what didn’t. Use this information to help ensure success in future meetings.

Planning your own lessons

Leaders are encouraged to use the curriculum materials provided for the Cloverbud Program. These materials have been developed specifically for children in grades K-2. 4-H materials developed for older youth (grades 3 and above) are not appropriate for younger children because they do not meet their developmental needs.

On occasion, you may feel the need to create your own lesson. When designing a lesson, it is recommended that you include the components established by the National 5-8 Curriculum Task Force. These guidelines will help ensure that your lesson is meaningful and focused, and that you are prepared to carry it through.

Suggested components of a lesson

  • Lesson Title - This should reflect the concept or major activity of the lesson.

  • Objective – state what you want to accomplish.

  • Time Required – Estimate the amount of time the lesson will require.

  • Suggested Group Size – Identify how many children will be involved and how many leaders/older youth will be required to supervise the lesson.

  • Materials Needed – List all materials and equipment needed for the lesson.

  • Background Information – Think about and list information you and/or the children must have before beginning the lesson.

  • Additional Resources – Identify resources in the community that could contribute information and experiences to the lesson. Field trips, community members with special skills, and the public library are a few possibilities.

  • Preparing the learner – Plan one or more introductory activities to provide the children with needed background information.

Learning activity

Plan the lesson as a series of logically sequenced steps and write out each step. Try to visualize the steps as you plan them, and think about how the children may respond. Most lessons, or a series of related lessons, will incorporate the following five steps:

  1. The “doing” activity,

  2. A time for children to “share” their reactions or observations,

  3. Discussion of what happened during the activity,

  4. A chance to think about how the activity has meaning for their daily life, and

  5. Discussion of how they might use their new knowledge in the future.


Decide beforehand how you will determine whether or not you have achieved the objective of the lesson. Possible ways to evaluate the success are observation of children’s behaviors during the activity (and any products they create) and asking the children questions about the lesson.


Think about ways the children might extend their learning by engaging in related activities that provide additional information or a chance to practice new skills. Plan such activities for future meetings or provide parents with suggestions for following up on the lesson.

Positive reinforcement

Provide each child with recognition for effort or accomplishment during the lesson time. Positive reinforcement may be a positive comment from the leader or from other children, an opportunity for the child to talk with others about his or her own work, or a sticker or certificate.


Becky Harrington, director of operations and systems,, 612-624-7974