This page is devoted to exploring issues related to lesson planning and curriculum development through questions such as:

Selecting the Content

  • Who are our students?
  • What compels them?
  • What matters to them?

Structuring the Content

  • How will you capture learners' interest and attention?
  • What are learners likely to know already about these materials? How will you activate prior knowledge?
  • How will you help learners to make sense of the content?
    • What do learners need to know before they work with these materials?
    • What misconceptions or misunderstandings are learners likely to have about these materials?
    • What will you need to "unpack" in order to facilitate understanding?
    • How will you structure, sequence, and package the content?
  • How will you help learners to make meaning from the content?
    • How will you engage them in thinking deeply about the content?
    • How will you engage their feelings?
    • How will you connect the content with their personal experiences?
  • How will you actively involve learners with the content?
  • How will you support the development of language skills?
  • How will you give learners opportunities to show that they know?

Sequencing & Scaffolding the Content

  • Pre-: What do learners need to know BEFORE they work with the content? How will you prepare them for each activity?
  • During: What will LEARNERS do with the content? How will you scaffold it?
  • Post: What will learners do AFTER they have interacted with the content?
  • Closure Activities: How will you help learners to summarize, reflect, connect, extend, and preview?
  • Assessment: How will evaluate learners' understanding so that you can make informed decisions about what to do next?

Planning from the Textbook - Tips for using the textbook as the basis of your lessons and activities - chericem1 chericem1

Thematic Units - Examples and links to readings

Planning on a Block Schedule

Each row of this photo depicts a possible lesson plan configuration for a 45-minute period. The numbers represent the number of minutes devoted to the activity. As you look at the photo, think about how well each configuration is likely to capture, sustain, and recapture students' attention. Contrast this photo with the next photo of configurations for 80-minute block periods. - chericem1 chericem1

This photo demonstrates some possible configurations for an 80-minute block period.

The middle row of this photo shows how a teacher might allocate time to different elements of effective teaching.

This photo shows how a teacher might use elements of effective teaching (on the yellow stickies) to guide planning. The colored papers represent different blocks of time. Laying out the time blocks first is one way to help you think about the "rhythm" of your class. Layer 4 lists the actual activities a teacher might "slot" into each time block. Layers 5 and 6 show how a teacher might strengthen the lesson by adding in tasks based on the National Standards. Layer 7 indicates how a teacher might integrate technology into specific activities during the lesson.

You can download printable copies of planning materials that correspond with the photos above from the list below. - chericem1 chericem1

- A template designed to walk you through the lesson planning process - chericem1 chericem1

- A template that more "experienced" teachers can use to help make sure they've thought through all the necessary elements of a lesson (content, modeling, checking for understanding, sequencing, grouping, process, debriefing, assessment). If this template doesn't make sense, take a look at the one above first. - chericem1 chericem1

A template that allows you to put together the multiple collections of different types of text and ideas/projects/mini lessons that create a unit as a whole. Great for visual people. Courtesy of Cherice Montgomery - cartierm cartierm

- A template designed to help you plan lessons in three levels--a product-based level, a practice-based level, and a perspective-based level - chericem1 chericem1

- A template you can use to evaluate how well your lesson went - chericem1 chericem1

- A rubric you can use to evaluate your own teaching - chericem1 chericem1

- This is a template I use for weekly lesson planning or unit planning. It has content, language, and other objectives, lesson plans broken down by day, and check boxes for the standards used. - darkcait darkcait

- Here's a template that distinguishes between content and language objectives and among interpretive, interpersonal and presentational modes of communication. - jbale jbale

- mllegibbs mllegibbs

- This document (shared courtesy of Jill McKillips) contains action verbs you can use to help you when writing your lesson plans.


Jordan School District Curriculum - Bullet-point rationale for the Granite, Jordan, Murray standards-based curriculum mapping project (aligned w/ National and State standards), plus links to curriculum maps in Chinese, French, German, and Spanish - chericem1 chericem1

Jordan School District Curriculum Maps (Spanish) - Nice example of how a school district might set up a flexible, thematic curriculum in Spanish - chericem1 chericem1

Jovenlandia - Charla Aranda's website for her classes - Scroll over 2014 Spanish II+ for links to materials from various topic and thematic units - chericem1 chericem1

Oakland Schools Curriculum Frameworks (World Languages) - Outstanding templates for unit plan documents for Chinese and Spanish, as well as for other subject areas. The template they are using incorporates backward design, but would also be an excellent tool for moving teachers' thinking toward the design of standards-based thematic units - chericem1 chericem1

Ideas for Units

  • News Unit - Materials for a unit on current events, media, and news that includes a "newspaper of the future" assignment - chericem1 chericem1

  • Unit Plans - A list of topics and essential questions, plus links to full unit plans from students in Senior level world language methods courses - chericem1 chericem1

Independent Study

Independent Study - Tips for managing an independent study

Planning Resources

  • Backwards Design -- This page gives helpful info about backwards design. The references with links at the bottom of the page are excellent and include a PDF of an introduction to backwards design and some planning templates.

  • - Each page focuses on a different way of approaching planning (Products--the resources you have at your disposal, Practices--logical flow of a lesson, and Perspectives--key components that generally need to be present in order for lasting learning to occur) - chericem1 chericem1

  • Making It Meaningful - A downloadable PowerPoint presentation that outlines some key principles for creating powerful, thematic units - chericem1 chericem1

  • Oakland Schools Curriculum Frameworks (World Languages) - Links to unit plan documents for Chinese and Spanish, as well as for other subject areas. The template they are using incorporates backward design, but would also be an excellent tool for moving teachers' thinking toward the design of standards-based thematic units.

  • - An assignment sheet based on the National Standards for FL Learning designed to scaffold teachers' attempts to develop a PowerPoint presentation that could be used in conjunction with a unit they are designing. The worksheet includes links to multiple examples of the variety of different purposes for which language teachers have used such presentations.

  • Textbook Activities - Links to both publisher and teacher-created resources for world language textbooks commonly used in the U.S.

Thematic Unit Plan Overviews

Post your unit plan overviews here

Annotated Resources

Sample Curriculum Frameworks: These examples will give new teachers a sense of the variety of ways that curriculum is conceptualized, organized, and disseminated - skauer skauer

Curriculum Documents - From various states

Kentucky Frameworks

Massachusetts Frameworks - 109-page PDF

Michigan Frameworks

Montgomery County Public Schools - Includes topic, standard, structures

Iowa State has been collaborating local schools to write curriculum for a dual Spanish immersion program . They have also been working on a K-5 Chinese FLES program Click here for the curriculum.

See also: Assessment, Games; Instructional Strategies, Lesson Planning Templates, Literacy, Michigan-specific Info., Proficiency, Second Language Acquisition, Service Learning, Special Needs, Staying in the Target Language, Teaching Culture, Teaching & Learning Styles, Textbooks
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