Sunday, May 4, 2014

Creating Curriculum

By now we all know how challenging it is to create curriculum and be sure it is connected to standards of every stripe—both content and process. We all know that this involves hard work identifying the right materials and designing lessons and assessments. Mary Ann Cappiello and I know this firsthand, since we have been co-writing a column for School Library Journal’s e-newsletter Curriculum Connections. Each month we have featured inquiry and integration at different grades levels and in different subject areas. We have tried to show how a variety of high quality nonfiction titles can be the basis of interesting hands-on activities. Here are a few links to our past columns:

Grade 2: How Do Plants Grow?
Grades 3-5: Global Citizenry.

Grades 6-8: Natural Selection and Adaptation.

Grades 11-12: Work and Wages.

Today I want to share with you a new resource that can be of assistance as you head along the curriculum-creating path—International Reading Association’s Bridges units. These units, created by teacher-researcher teams are designed to bridge research and practice.  There are units available for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. All units are available free to IRA members and one unit (9-12) is available to everyone. These units are well worth a look. In fact, after looking at the grade 9-12 unit, “Understanding Power and Fear: School Integration in the South (1954-1964),” you will probably be convinced that you should be a member of IRA. This unit consists of an overview, texts to use (read alouds, whole group instruction, small-group discussion, and self-selected reading), activities, and assessments. There is an abundance of clearly written, well-thought out material. Check it out here:

Information about IRA Bridges:

Sample Unit: (Click on Get It Now for a PDF)
Sample units can be very helpful to teachers. They don’t have to be followed exactly as written. They can be adapted as you see fit. They can also be the foundation for learning that lasts.

            Thank you, International Reading Association.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting about this great resource, Myra. I wanted to add that IRA is looking for additional units! The next quarterly deadline is June 15, 2014.