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Tool: Unit planning for one content area

Area examples: Elementary, Secondary

Once you have decided on an overall topic, central question, Big Idea or theme for your unit, you are ready to plan week by week. This unit plan will contain two parts: (1) a unit overview of expectations and resources; and (2) a weekly overview of learning objectives and activities.

The unit plan will provide a guide for:

  • what you want students to learn (knowledge, skills and dispositions), based on state and local curriculum documents and what you already know about your students as learners
  • how you will allocate time to various resources and activities
  • when/how you will assess and evaluate student progress
  • when/how you will make connections to other subjects

1) A unit overview includes a sketch of the Big Ideas and overall learning goals:

Unit overview for a content area plan

Subject/Course: Unit topic/theme/Big Idea/central question:
Student learning goals (Michigan Curriculum Framework and/or Content Expectations)  







Connections to other subjects






2) A weekly overview includes weekly learning objectives and the activities that will promote student learning.

Learning objectives:

  • focus on students (not the teacher)
  • describe the desired learning outcome
  • are clear and understandable
  • are observable (through actions or written work)

Weekly overview

Week # Learning objectives for content area plan Activities

Elementary teachers, see Planning an elementary science unit and Planning social studies instruction.

Download these forms: PDF Version for printing...MS Word version for revising...RTF version for Revising