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Unit Authoring Template & Links To Individual Unit Elements
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The Elements in this 'Unit Authoring Template' have proven, individually and collectively, to guide teachers and students toward engaging, arts integrated, interdisciplinary, effective instructional units, and to significant character development and impressive professional development.  This is all especially evident when the unit development is collaborative, involving teams of teachers....and students.

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May I suggest that you print a hard copy of the Unit Authoring Template now, so as to facilitate making your own notes as you review the material below. Just click here for a WORD version.

Unit Elements


Sources & References

Notes & Examples

A- Academic Standards

Aim at mastery of a few worthy (important & difficult to teach) instructional objectives - including arts and character standards, and interdisciplinary understandings.

Common Core Standards - good to see these emerging as 'fewer, clearer, higher'


21st Century Curriculum - All of the Common Core plus Imagination, Creative Problem Solving, Innovation and the 'Cognitive Skills' (Analyzing & Utilizing Information, Addressing Complex Problems & Issues, Creating Patterns & Mental Models)  and 'Conative skill' (Understanding & Controlling Oneself, Understanding and Interacting with Others)   Marano 2012 Teaching and Assessing 21st Century Skills.




B - Concept


C- Focus Statement

What is to be learned so deeply as to be remembered forever?


D - Significant/Essential Question......and related deepening questions


E - Work of Art / Masterwork / Third Thing


F - Engagement / Accommodation Strategies

Carefully chosen and modified to address deepening knowledge of the actual students, both to demonstrate/model respect for each student, and also to provide maximum 'voice & choice' for all students.



G - Original Creation


H - Reflection

Individual and group opportunities to reflect and self-assess, built into the unit at frequent intervals.


I - Inquiry Centers

Usually 3-4 small group or individual activities, organized by 'deepening questions' which invite 'hands-on' collaboration to more independently carry out a task which usually results in a product which could not have been completed without mastery of a standard and/or achieving a satisfactory answer to a deepening question.  The product is to be initially self-assessed and improved if needed using a rubric for the Inquiry Center.


J - Partners / Contributions


K - Relationship to the System / School Improvement or Action Plan


L - Academic Service Learning

Planned opportunities for the students to prepare related mini-lessons and teach them to other students - in the same class, or to other classes in the same school or in other schools.  The focus is on learning at a deeper level by teaching related, appropriate, academic standards to others, and, on the development of character by providing 'opportunities for moral action' by helping others.


M - Materials and Resources

Brief, helpful, listing of needed materials and important references.


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ESOL - SIOP Lesson Template

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