Language arts is the foundation for integrated instruction, and a little bit of work now will really help you plan individual units later. It’s a really good idea to inventory everything you already have and plug it into unit themes as much as possible. Start with any core literature that your district or state requires you to use. This includes novel sets and trade books provided for you by the school, district, or text-book company. Then look at the contents of your reading series. Write the names and page numbers of each selection that relates to a unit theme on your language arts matrix. I know–this takes some time,but it is well worth the effort to have everything laid out as you begin to develop your plans for the year. I like to do this during the first couple weeks of summer vacation, but then I’m a little weird that way. Remember—you won’t have to do this again until you get a new reading series!
Later on you can add the chapters and page numbers of applicable science and social studies chapters, as well as any support books provided by the text-book series.
Finally, include your favorite trade books on the subject that you already have available in your classroom library. Get Thematic Teaching Planning Pages blank here.
I always really enjoy doing this. It gets me very excited for the new school year!