Putting it All Together–Aligning Your Curricula

You know what language arts skills you’re going to teach.
You know what genre studies you want to use to help teach these skills.
You know what materials you already have to support teaching these skills.
Now you may like to design some projects for the genre studies.
We’ll begin to build the pages that will show your Subject Area Alignment.

Think of some fun and educational products for your students to create that will fit with the genre studies you plugged in earlier. Again, make a brainstorm list of your ideas, then plug them into your plan.

  • photo essay
  • poetry book
  • autobiography
  • historical fiction
  • narrative
  • play
  • movie
  • website
  • blog
  • encyclopedia
  • dictionary
  • myth
  • pop up books
  • craft directions
  • radio broadcast
  • cook book

Here’s what I’ve cooked up:

Subject Area Alignment Grade 5

You are going to continue to do the same thing for each of the remaining subject areas, starting with your district’s, state’s, or textbook’s objective matrix,and then plug the skills in where they seem to fit best.  This is your idea chart.  Things will naturally change as you make more plans. You may want to include the same genre in different themes because they would work equally well there.  You can always make changes as you go.  You may also want to present alternatives to your students at the time of the unit and let them make some choices, too.  Laying it all out will help ensure that you cover everything at one time or another, and that you build on what you’ve already taught.

I often had difficulty integrating math into many of these thematic areas.  I preferred to have math during my first period of the day, and then the rest of the day was focused on teaching language arts through the theme.  That gave us plenty of time to read, speak, listen, write, and think!

Subject Area Alignment Grade 5 b

Once you’ve completed the BIG picture plan for integrating your subject areas throughout the year, you’re ready to start working on your first unit.  That’s where the fun really begins!


This article was originally published in March of 2010 on another website.  It has been simplified and updated here.

This entry was posted in How To..., Instructional Planning, Integrated Instruction, Language Arts, Math, Project Based Learning, Science Themes, Social Studies Themes, Thematic Teaching and tagged Aligning Skills Across Curricular Areas, Elementary Curricula, Integrating Instruction, Planning for Thematic Teaching, Planning Worksheets. Bookmark the permalink.

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