This page of the Wiki will be used to present, discuss and review topics concerning curriculum planning, mapping and formatting for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee Technology Integration project.

The planning process for units of study in the 21st Century requires that instructional units move from the left column to the right column of this chart:



Planning begins with identification of instructional activities

Planning begins with identification of what students are to know and do as a result of the unit.

Planning for instruction is the same for all students and meets the needs of some students

Intentional planning meets each individual learner’s needs

Teacher-directed instruction

Student-centered instruction (e.g., investigation
and inquiry)

Textbook is used as a main source of information.

Variety of instructional resources are used.

Interdisciplinary connections are often forced.

Interdisciplinary connections as appropriate

Assessment is infrequent and at the end of the unit (summative)

Assessment is ongoing, informs instruction and allows for extending understanding through application of knowledge (formative and summative).

Students work toward standards which are often unclear.

Students work to meet clearly defined and known standards.

Students and teachers work independently

Students and teachers collaborate

A strong, viable CURRICULUM must:
  1. have student achievement as the primary driving force
  2. incorporate 21st Century Skills / Learning
  3. begin with the "end in mind"
  4. be standards-based
  5. use "Projects" primarily to further learning where:
    • Students are at the center of the learning process.
    • Projects focus on important learning objectives that are aligned to exit expectations / standards
    • Projects are driven by Curriculum-Framing questions:
      • the "Why" are we doing this
      • Essential Questions
    • Projects involve ongoing and multiple types of assessments
    • Projects have real-world connections.
    • Students demonstrate knowledge thru a product or performance
    • Technology supports and enhances student learning.
    • Thinking skills are integral to projects
    • Intructional strategies are varied and support multiple learning styles

A sample unit / project planning form:

(Source: Buck Institute for Education, http://pbl-

1. Begin with the end in mind:

Summarize the theme for the project. Why do this project? Indentify the content standards that students will learn in this project. Identify key skills that students will learn in this project. Identify habits of mind that students will practice in this project.
2. Craft the driving question:
State the essential question or problem statement for the project. The statement should encompass all project content and outcome and it should provide a central focus for student inquiry.
3. Plan the assessment, part 1:

Define the products for the project. What will you assess - early in the project, during the project, and at the end of the project?
4. Plan the assessment, part 2:

State the criteria for exemplary performance for each product.
5. Map the project, part 1:

What do students need to know and be able to do to complete the tasks successfully? How and wen will they learn the necessar knowledge and skills. Analyze tasks necessary to produce a high-quality product. (List knowledge and skills that students will need: already learned, taught before the project, and taught during the project.)
6. Map the project, part 2:

List key dates and important milestones for this project. What challenges or problems might arise.
7. Manage the process:

List preparations necessary for differentiated instruction, for ESL students, special-needs students, or students with diverse learning styles. Ask: How will you and your students reflect on and evaluate the project? (Class discussion, individual or group evaluations, teacher-led de-brief...)