Starting a new unit?  Here’s a few ideas to help put concepts at the center:

1) Start with an essential question about the relationship between concepts.  Have students track this how their thinking about this relationship becomes more sophisticated over the course of the unit.  

For example:  

Essential Question:  How does time influence identity?

Early in the unit, ask students respond based on their pre-instructional understanding.  Throughout the unit plan for students to interact with texts, speakers, and experiences that will help them develop a more sophisticated response.  Students track their responses over time on a rubric like this and through systems like the ones describe in this Educational Leadership article.  For another example of what this looks like in the classroom, click here. 

2) Create an advanced organizer for students map the relationships between ideas that they are studying.  Consider using the structure of knowledge format.

For example:

Throughout the unit, students note how the facts and topics they are learning relate to the concepts and build towards a generalization (relationship between concepts).  

Happy concepts-based learning! 

%d bloggers like this: