Unit Plans For Teachers
Unit planning begins with identifying the particular content to be taught and your goals for learning outcomes. Goals are about your purpose or aim. They relate to your rationale for teaching the particular content that your students will study.
Goals help set the stage for study and typically are written as broad statements. Often they are tied to state or national curriculum standards. It is important to always remember that your goals should go beyond the basic cognitive (knowledge) domain. Don't neglect to consider the affective and psychomotor domains (for more on this, you may wish to research the White House Conferences on Education). Note that other scholars have also created models for educational domains. So, using Yager and McCormack's (1989) domains, you will need to go beyond the knowledge (knowing and understanding) domain and also address the creative (imagining and creating), attitudinal (feeling and valuing), process (exploring and discovering), and application (using and applying or connecting) domains.
Your introductory lesson to the unit should be given extra attention. You will want this lesson to grab your students' attention and stimulate them to want to know more. There are many exciting ways to begin a new unit, but reading a chapter out of a textbook is not one of them. Likewise, you should give attention to your culminating lesson. You will want to wrap up your unit by helping students reflect upon and synthesize the content that they studied. If there is to be a final test or exam, you might also plan a review activity that is also fun. Framing a review in a game such as "Jeopardy!" is an example. Another way to wrap up a unit is for students to present individual or group projects. Depending on the project and the quality you expect, you might even consider culminating with presentations to other students, or to family and community members.
Probably the most typical way teachers plan their classroom curriculum is in terms of instruction in units organized around a single topic. This kind of organization generally reflects a daily schedule in which reading, math, science, social studies, and so forth are taught separately and divided from each other by assigned time periods. Many of us have been taught most often this way. Remember the unit on the Civil War? It is likely it was organized this way. Another example would be the math unit on fractions and the science unit on weather.
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