I have raved about Understanding by Design since I first started using it. For those of you who do not know, it's a backwards design, and units are created around big ideas. It is so effective in helping students become critical thinkers. So, here is an example of some answers I had on the last exam for the question: "What was the story about"? You will find that looking at content as a means of getting to the big idea creates answers outside of the box. Here are a few of the answers I got on the exam, but I got many answers similar to these responses: + You can do great things even if you are little + Anyone can help +Even if I am small I can do something important This is why I love UbD. Our content is not the end goal; it's a means to the end. Now my first graders get so much more out of their literature. They are understanding ideas that they can apply in their lives. I loved those answers, which I think is much more elaborate than "The story was about some chicks trying to get food in the garden". They have gone beyond just the literal and can find greater meaning. Oh I am so proud of them. Just had to share.