Big Idea Worksheet
By Patty Blome
- Grades: 9–12
- Unit Plan:
Provide students with opportunities to articulate understanding of the "big idea" about a concept using targeted vocabulary. This formative assessment strategy yields big results for teachers in determining if perceptions regarding students' progress towards proficiency are accurate or off the mark.
- Check for understanding.
- Write structured paragraphs.
- Use students' responses to differentiate instruction or re-teach.
- Provide an opportunity for students to reflect on learning (metacognition).
- Teacher-created handout — Example: Feudalism — Big Idea (PDF)
- Student materials (pen/pencil/paper)
- Inform students that they will have a chance to express their ideas and understanding of the unit's Big Idea.
- Clarify that the work students complete for this task will be used to help you determine what steps you need to take in teaching them about the big idea of the unit.
- Distribute Big Idea worksheets
- Clarify instructions to students:
"For the Big Idea of _________ I have selected some terms and images that we've discussed and investigated over the past few class periods (read terms and point out images but do not define or clarify any terms or images for students). In the box below the terms and images, feel free to write me a letter, a short paragraph, groups of sentences, or add more images with brief descriptions to show how the terms and images connect to the big idea of_________."
Supporting All Learners
Students can draw a complete scene with all terms/images represented in the scene and label it.
- Did students' responses match your expectations for proficiency at this point of the unit? If not, how will you amend your pacing to ensure that all students meet targeted proficiency goals?
- Have students been given an opportunity to self-reflect on their responses to gauge their own proficiency? Does this activity adequately help students identify areas for support for themselves?
Create a data analysis graph for students to see the class’s progress towards standards achievement.