Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Social Studies In Action A Methodology Workshop, K-5.
  Site Map. Glossary.
Session 2.

Teaching for Understanding


Apply what you've learned about Teaching for Understanding as you complete the following activities.


Analyzing a Lesson

Rob Cuddi's class is studying explorers in North America. Mr. Cuddi uses essential questions throughout the unit to remind students of yearlong goals. He also integrates other subjects in the activities his students do to demonstrate their learning. As students work together in groups, draft haiku, and rehearse skits, Mr. Cuddi engages a range of assessment methods.

How does Mr. Cuddi incorporate the elements of Teaching for Understanding? Use the charts in this interactive activity to record your thoughts.

Analyzing a Lesson
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A screenshot of this activity.

A non-interactive version of this activity is available as a PDF document.


Save your written work to submit as an assignment.

Rob Cuddi.


View Video Segment: Applying Teaching for Understanding

Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your screen. You'll find this segment approximately 39 minutes into the video. Watch for about 20 minutes.

In this video segment, participants work together to identify the elements of Teaching for Understanding in Mr. Cuddi's lesson, then complete a mini-lesson that illustrates yearlong story lines in history.


Planning a Unit and Lesson

Now that you have practiced identifying elements of the Teaching for Understanding framework, complete a Graphic Organizer (PDF) based on a unit and lesson of your own. Follow these steps:

  • Choose a social studies unit that you teach.
  • Identify the yearlong goal or throughline your unit will relate to.
  • Come up with a generative topic that provides the specific focus of this unit.
  • List the unit goals that support the generative topic and 1 or more of the throughlines.
  • Show the performances of understanding that you will require of students in each lesson of the unit.
  • Show the ongoing assessments activity that you will include in each lesson.
  • Describe the culminating assessments that you will plan for the end of the unit.

Note: If you are taking all eight sessions for credit, you can revise the unit you began in session one to incorporate the elements of Teaching for Understanding.


Save your written work to submit as an assignment.

Session 2: Engage | Explore | Explain | Apply | Evaluate | Resources
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