Unit Design: A Think Aloud

Sometimes unit design can feel like a liberating opportunity to imagine learning in new ways. Other times it can feel overwhelming, because we’re filling out the appropriate documents, but not necessarily understanding what’s underneath them. When I design units, I think in circles instead of boxes. This think aloud is an example of how I’m thinking through planning this English Language Arts unit.

Here are some questions that may be helpful as you watch and think about your own planning.

  • How can we plan units based on standards, but not confined by them?
  • How can we think about creating reading pathways for students with  the texts we choose?
  • Instead of thinking about separate units for reading, writing and speaking, how can we integrate these skills in ways that help our students build knowledge in recursive ways?
  • How can we think about assessment as part of a process?
  • How might this think aloud influence your own unit design process?

If you are interested in reading more about how I use context, fulcrum and context texts in my unit design, you can check out my book Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards from NCTE.




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