I am currently working on my masters in educations (English secondary ed) and I am hoping for some advice from teachers with more experience than me. As part of my class requirements (as I am sure many of you remember) I have to create my own lesson plans. I am terrible at this, despite being well-read, loving books and reading. I am good at coming up with big ideas, projects or discussion topics, things that are more suited to a college class than to a high school classroom. I have trouble picking the right book, selecting standards, picking objectives and making them align with a variety of small activities and assessments. In the end, it takes me way too long to make a lesson plan. So I am here to ask advice: How do you know which book to use? Is it better to being with the text or the standards? and my biggest issue: How do you determine what is a small enough chunk of work or information for students to get through in one period? Additionally, any advice, in general, on teaching secondary students would be very welcome.