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Tool: Planning units around Big Ideas

During your social studies lessons, it is important to focus your teaching and activities around a set of Big Ideas that you have decided are crucial to the unit. By creating a set of Big Ideas, you have provided a way to keep your lessons focused and purposeful. Big Ideas should also help you assess learning and evaluate the success of your instruction both daily and long term. Use the following chart to create and monitor the Big Ideas underlying your unit:

Big Ideas

Lessons which support this Big Idea

Connections to other units and subjects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Example based on a Clothing unit:

Big Ideas

Lessons which support this Big Idea

Connections to other units and subjects

Clothing protects your body.

lesson 1, lesson 2

fire safety, science weather lessons

People have special clothing for different events.

lesson 2, lesson 5

 

Clothing is for modesty.

lesson 1

health lessons, personal safety

Clothing helps communicate information about people.

lesson 1, lesson 5

Careers unit

People choose clothing for many reasons.

lesson 1, lesson 2, lesson 5

 

Clothing has changed over the years.

lesson 3, lesson 4

SS Thanksgiving unit

The environment affects the clothing you wear.

lesson 1, lesson 2, lesson 3, lesson 5

science weather lessons, SS shelter unit