Curriculum Design For Teachers Who Think They Hate Curriculum Design

Today’s teachers are asked to do a lot, and curriculum mapping can be intimidating! The key is breaking curriculum design into steps. I suggest you narrow your plan down to three elements: what you want the students to know, do, and apply. Once you have these clear in your mind, aligning to standards and content is a cinch.

For example, Ms. Smith looks at the Common Core State Standards and notices that her 5th grade students need to know “Standard English Grammar” including capitalization, how to write clear persuasive paragraphs, and she knows her principal wants her to incorporate green initiatives into her lessons. She decides she wants the students to learn capitalization rules, write a 3-paragraph essay, and apply their writing skills to social justice topics such as global warming.

Now, she can decide what standards will match each of these topics. For example, the Language Standard will fit with the first task, the Writing Standard will go nicely with the essay, and she’ll make her capstone project to persuade a local hardware store to donate materials for a climate-friendly school garden. Now that she has the what and the application task, the last step is to map out the needed skills for each standard and input them into her daily lessons.

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