Courses of instruction are usually divided into learning units as reflected in textbooks, manuals, modules, and other instructional materials that are based on a given curriculum.A teaching unit contains a series of sequenced and related learning activities that are organized around a theme, issue, or problem along with goals, objectives, resources for learning , and procedures for evaluation (Marterolla, 1984)It is a chunk of content and associated skills that are perceived as fitting together in a logical way (Arends,2004)
2 classifications of Instructional unit Integrated (interdisciplinary) thematic unit (ITU)
It consists of a series of lessonscentered on a topic with eachlesson building on a previouslesson by contributing additionallearning areas or subjects.
Integrated (interdisciplinary) thematic unit (ITU) It is centered on a central theme. I f by design the thematic unit integrates disciplines, then it is called integrated or interdisciplinary thematic unit (ITU)
Steps for developing an interdisciplinary thematic unit(ITU)Following steps that can guide a team of teachers in developing an interdisciplinary thematic unit(ITU)1. Agree on the nature of source of the unit. Team members should view the interdisciplinary approach as a collaborative effort in which all members can participate if appropriate.
2. Discuss specific subject benchmark standards, goals and objectives, curriculum guidelines, textbooks and supplemental materials and units already in place for the school year.Choose a theme/topic and develop a timeline. The basis for the theme selection should satisfy the criteria. The theme should 1. fit within the expected scope and sequence of mandated content, and 2. be of interest to the students.
4. Establish two timelines. The first is for the team to ensure that the deadlines form specific work required in developing the unit will be met by each member. The second timeline is for both students and teachers to show the intended length of the unit, when it will start, and in which classes will it be taught.5. Discuss the scope and sequence for content and instruction.6. Share goals and objectives. Each team member should have a copy of the goals and target objectives of every other team member.7. Give the unit a name8. Share subject-specific units, lesson plans, and printed and non-printed materials9. Field-test the unit. Team members may trade classes from time to time.10. Reflect, assess, and adjust and revise the unit as necessary.
Developing daily plansAccompanying an instructional unit (whether standard or thematic)are daily plans drawn from the unit of study. A daily plan is usually taught in a single class period for a particular learning area (subjects) or in some activities in two or three successive periods. It outlines the content to be taught, motivational techniques to be used, materials and equipment needed, the specific steps and activities, and the evaluation procedures. A daily plan which flows naturally out of an instructional unit defines the objectives and class activities for a single day. Built in the daily plans are the lessons which take place before instruction, during instruction, and after instruction. A daily plan provides activities for the learners to enable the class to accomplish the objectives in an interesting and meaningful way.
Burden & Byrd present the significanceof daily plans in attaining the goals and objectives of a given unit of study The daily plans:1. Help to classify the instructional objectives of a particular lesson;2. Precisely identify the content and determine the instructional activities and specific means about how the activities will be conducted;3. Arrange the appropriate evaluation of the student learning;4. Give s sense of direction and feeling of confidence and security about what the teachers are doing; and5. Help teachers organize, sequence, and become familiar with lesson’s content
Guidelines in creating a unit of instruction (Peter H. Marterolla,1994)1. Develop an idea for special topic of study & translate it into brief, clear statement of your theme or problem focus(unit title).2. Break the idea or theme for the unit into a set of more specific ideas and smaller subtopics or list of key questions you wish to address (list of topics).3. Indicate for which group of students or grade levels the unit is intended and include them in the planning if possible (target student population).4. Make an appropriate determination of how much time can be spent on the unit (time required).
5. Construct a brief overview of what the unit is all about and why it is important and useful for the intended class to learn it (rationale).6. Identify a goal or a set of basic goals that unit will be designed to accomplish (goals).7. Outline the specific objectives to be accomplished with the unit and arrange them in sequential order (objectives).8. Identify and develop related specific teaching strategies and activities (teaching strategies and activities).9. Develop a plan to evaluate the effectiveness of the unit (evaluation procedures).
1. Select a suitable theme, topic, issue, or problem.2. Select the goals of the unit and prepare the overview.3. Select suitable instructional objectives, in doing this (a) include understandings, skills, attitudes, appreciations, and ideals: (b) be specific, avoid vagueness and generalizations; (c) write objectives in performance terms; and “(d) be as certain as possible that the objectives will contribute to the major learning described in the overview.4. Detail the instructional procedures a. refer to curriculum documents, resource units, and colleagues as resources. Gather learning activities to make sure that they will actually contribute to the learning designated in the objectives. b. check learning activities to make sure that they will actually contribute to the learning designated in the objectives.
c. Make sure that the learning activities are feasible. d. Check resources available to be certain that they support the content and learning activities. e. Describe how to introduce the unit . Provide introductory, developmental, and culminating activities.5. Plan for preassessment and assessment of student learning. Preasssess what students already know or think they know. Assessment of student progress in achievement of the learning objectives (formative assessment) should permeate the entire unit.6. Provide for the materials and tools of instruction.
Guidelines in the development of effective lessons (Mary Alice Gunter, Thomas H. Estes & Jan Schwab, 2003)1. Limit the concepts and content to be covered in a lesson to allow time for the students to review, practice, and get feedback on what they have learned.2. Be sure that new material is connected to what has been learned previously and that the connections are clear.3. Check frequently to ensure that the students are acquiring the intended knowledge, attitudes , and skills. Be prepared to alter plans or to reteach of learning is not taking place or if the students seem to be disengaged.4. Never accept student’s failure to learn as inevitable or unavoidable.