1. Reading: students read (and write) in order to find out new information which they share with their peers.
2. Writing: students learn a style of writing related to the theme and create and publish a final product in that style.
3. Speaking: students learn and create new ways to present information gathered through research.
4. Listening: students learn new information from teacher and peers by listening, taking notes, comparing, and evaluating information.
5. Literature: students explore trade books on the theme, or study a genre of literature relevant to the theme.
6. Students gather materials for research and projects.
7. Social Studies/Science: the theme becomes real and comprehensible to the students by engaging them in activities that require them to act out, build, and create experiences and events significant to the theme.
8. Art, music, physical education (and as much as possible, math) support learning in language arts and social studies/science.
9. Research: students find, use, and evaluate printed materials, people, and electronic media used to research information relevant to their assignments and selected projects.
10. Problem Solving: students make significant real life decisions and choices about how to work with others and ways to produce and publish products, both individual and group.
11. There is sufficient time to allow students to explore and play in-depth with the themes being studied.
12. Student frequently create new materials, games, and activities that foster concept development in future students.
13. Integrating instruction across curricular areas makes it much easier to differentiate instruction for a variety of levels and learning styles. You can use many different instructional materials all on the same theme, allowing students of vastly differing achievement levels to work together productively.
This article was originally published on April 12, 2010 on another website.