You will design a complete unit of instruction that demonstrates (a) your understanding of backwards design, (b) your awareness of sound instructional techniques, (c) your ability to design assessments that effectively measure and inform instruction, and (d) your ability to integrate all areas of English instruction (reading, writing, language/grammar, etc.).
Length & Format
A template document will be provided for you to use in describing the various pieces of the unit plan outline. Specific directions for formatting and content will be given in that template. Your outline will consist of two parts:
- First, you will complete the unit overview chart. This chart requires you to demonstrate your ability to craft an essential question to guide the inquiry for the unit, as well as to demonstrate your ability to align the Utah Core Standards with your unit objectives and assessments. You will also describe, in depth, your culminating assessment for the unit and your rationale for teaching what you’re teaching in the unit, why you’re teaching it, and how you’ll go about teaching it.
- Second, you will be required to compile a set of texts and resources that could be used to support inquiry about this question and the teaching of these objectives and standards. You will include a reference list of MLA cited resources and a brief explanation of how this text set might best be used. More information about each of these sections will be reviewed in class and requirements will be outlined on the unit overview & text set grading sheet.
We will model this process using the class novel Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt; attending carefully to what we do in class will help you grasp the underlying thinking process that goes into designing a unit.
In short, though, you will want to start by considering an essential question for your unit as well as a corresponding core text. Consult with your future cooperating teacher for possible leads on this. As you consider these elements, you also want to think about how students can demonstrate what they learn as a result of the unit (i.e., an appropriate final assessment). Consult the core standards and your own analysis of what students need to learn to develop objectives for the unit. Finally, you’ll want to be thinking about other texts (novels, short stories, non-fiction pieces, movies, etc.) that could enhance students’ understandings and learning—you’ll collect these as a text set to accompany the unit overview.
This is a summative assessment and as such should represent your best work in terms of polish and finish. The unit plan will be assessed according to this grading guide, which we will discuss in class.
Materials & Resources
You will need to use the template document to complete the unit plan outline. I’ve created a MS Word Template or you can access a version for Google Docs [coming soon]. In both versions, note that the annotations I’ve provided for you (in blue-colored text) should be deleted before submitting the final document.
You should familiarize yourself with the Utah State Core Standards as part of the planning process. (Be patient with the link as it will take a minute for the standards to load. Once they’ve loaded, I suggest saving the PDF document to your computer for future reference.)
I’ve also curated some models from previous students and classes that should help you in understanding the thought process and the expectations for this project. Click the links in this list to view versions of those models: