Once I grab a cup of tea and reflect upon my newly-grouped standards, I am ready to write the Big Ideas (or Enduring Understandings) by examining the overarching purpose for the unit.
Taking the time to distill the purpose, focus, and value of the unit can make the rest of the planning more targeted and instruction more effective. After coming up with content, student objectives, assessments, and learning experiences, the writer has a foundation to build everything upon: Does this activity reinforce the purpose of this unit? If the answer is yes, then you are well on your way! Keep going and check out our Big Idea examples and resources below:
How can Big Ideas be used by a teacher and students?
Teachers should use the Big Ideas to define the purpose and focus for a unit. When writing the rest of the unit, teachers should be consistently revisiting the Big Ideas to check for intra-unit alignment and focus. Students might also look at the Big Ideas at the beginning of, and throughout, a unit to focus their learning. When a unit is over, a teacher may ask the students to outline the key information that they learned as one of many possible assessments or learning experiences that reinforce the big ideas of the unit.
- Whenever major historical events happen, such as wars, there is never a single, easily explained cause, but rather a complex series of causes.
- When we research, we need to be aware of who wrote the information and the potential bias of each source.
- Numbers can be much smaller than the number “1”, so we must use fractions and decimals to be more precise.
- Graphs help us represent numerical information in a visual way.
- Literature can transcend place and time to be relevant for readers decades after the work is written.
- The intended audience and author’s purpose for writing should impact the tone and writing style of the author.
- Models of the earth, sun, and moon can be used to represent, describe, and predict events on earth.
- Living things are made up of parts so small that they are not visible to the human eye.
- We must respect other artists and try to understand their intentions when reviewing, evaluating, and appreciating art.
- The arts reflect the cultural trends and historical events of a given place and time.
- We must appreciate cultural differences when learning a new language.
- Patterns exist in every language, though we must also know the exceptions to these patterns.