Now that we’ve clarified what the desired results are (focus on
Big Ideas) in Stage 1
Discussed appropriate assessments of these results with an
emphasis on Understanding in Stage 2
We are ready to plan appropriate learning activities in
A Chinese Proverb…
hear. I forget.
see. I remember.
do. I understand.
The basic concept is that a lesson plan should be designed
with seven criteria or stages in mind, represented by the
W = Where is the content headed? Where are the students
H = Hooking the students: how do we get them engaged with
the material? How do we hold onto them once we've got them?
E = Explore and Experience, Enable and Equip: Students need
to have experiences that will help them explore the Big Ideas of
the unit. We also need to Equip them with the tools they'll need
to perform well in the assessments and demonstrate
understanding of the material.
R = Revise and Reflect: Return to the same questions and
problems again and again. Challenge initial assumptions. Make
the students think again about their first instincts, and see how
their inferences change in the light of new knowledge. This
mirrors what Howard Gardner said about "going deep": you
have to stay with a topic long enough to get down to the
student's essential misconceptions and dispel them before new
understanding can take root.
E = Evaluate work and progress: This refers to letting the
students evaluate their progress, not just the teacher. Give the
students opportunities for constant reflection.
T = Tailor and personalize the work: I really, really appreciate
what the authors say about this one -- namely, that “Every
student body is diverse because all students come to the class
with different strengths, weaknesses, prior knowledge, learning
styles, interests, and preferences”.
It's important to keep pursuing the same Goals and Desired
Results while making room for students to explore the content
in different ways, as befits their strengths.
O = Organize for optimal effectiveness: It's important to present
the material in a way that will generate the most interest and
maintain that interest throughout the unit. Marching in a straight
line through the content is bad for understanding on several
levels -- it lowers interest in the material, which causes
students to disengage, and also prevents students from going
back to Reflect and Evaluate on previous content. I particularly
liked the analogy here to soccer training: teach discrete skills,
then build up to more sophisticated drills, then "play the game"
Using the 6 Facets in Stage 3
Students who really understand …
Facet 1. Can explain
Facet 2. Can Interpret
Facet 3. Can Apply
Facet 4. Can see in perspective
Facet 5. Demonstrate empathy
Facet 6. Reveal self-knowledge
Brainstorming Learning Using the 6
Facets of Understanding
Plan a menu
Develop a brochure to help other
Students understand balanced diet.
Discuss what does the
Popularity of fast foods
Say about modern life?
Imagine if you had
to live with a
Conduct research on
the impact of diverse
diets and longevity.
Reflect on how you might
Become a healthier eater?
Teaching for Understanding
Definition of “Cover”
Cover, when used as a noun
refers to something on the
surface. (p. 229)
When we “cover” material we’re putting a bedspread on
“To travel over” can also be
used to “cover” material (The
Coverage vs. Uncoverage
on the surface
to travel over
a “cover-up” or
sets an end goal, a
demands the right
experiences, discussions, and
a constructivist exercise
achievement is the result of
the learner making sense of
Can understandings be “covered”?
“ An understanding can never be
“covered” if it is to be
understood.” (p. 229)
+ Textbooks & Teaching for
provide an oversimplified view or
reality; they summarize what is known but
rarely help students to understand the
inquiries and arguments behind the
summaries (p. 230)
should not be used as a syllabus
for units; it should be used as a “resource”
to support desired results
are a “guidebook in support of a
Figure 10.1 (p.232) Uncoverage vs.
Coverage in Using Textbooks
text as a resource
used to uncover,
highlight, & explore
sections of the text are
read in a sequence to
only one resource
text is the syllabus
student’s job is to
know what’s in the text
(no essential questions
text is read in order of
additional sources rarely
+Uncoverage: Getting inside the subject’s
processes and arguments
Since textbooks oversimplify and summarize what is known,
teachers need to provide the tools for students to engage in
inquiry and question what is written in books.
This “uncovering” naturally prompts teachers to consult other
sources to shed further light… (pg. 237)
The Teacher’s Role: Designing
the Right Experiences
concepts to life through experiences
students to uncover meanings of big ideas
and their interconnection
a telling experience and a conceptual
framework for making sense of the experience
need chances to explore and work with
ideas before they understand them as “useful”
affects how and when we use direct (didactic)
instruction (modeling or demonstration, lecture)
What the teacher uses…
Didactic or Direct Instruction…
Facilitative or Constructivist Methods (Socratic method, openended questioning, discussion, guided inquiry, problem-based
learning, simulation (mock trials), copperative learning)
Coaching – guided practice