Need help- first time planning an interdisciplinary unit

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by trina, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. trina

    trina Companion

    Jan 16, 2007
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    Jul 24, 2008

    Hi guys- I really need some brain power from you gurus. Our small private Christian school has never done any cross-curricular projects, and we've decided the fall of 08 is the time to try. The problem is we don't know how to structure it. We have 3 grades- 6,7, and 8 and right now 6th has 19, 7th has 15 and 8th has 9 kids. Here's the plan:

    A 1 week interdisciplinary unit the week before the presidential elections. Our plan is to work in groups each day during morning classes when the kids would normally be in their 4 core subjects (math, SS, science, and lang). Instead of changing classes every hour, we will have this project, and they will be working on different activities related to the project. Our idea is that they have to create a 51st state that will then "vote" in the election. We see so many activities that correspond to this project but we don't know how to structure each day with each teacher (only 3 of us).

    For example, as the science teacher, I envision the kids mapping out the biomes and related plant and animal life, but that of course must work hand in hand with the geography of this new state which brings in the ss aspect. The geography then dovetails into what kinds of industry the state will have which leads to the math teacher having them create and compute revenues, tax rates, etc. I think they should all work together to name it, draw the flag, and write a history of the state, but how can you have 40 kids collaborate? Do we have stations that they all rotate through each day? Should we mix the grades up?

    I am all ears to anyone who has suggestions on how to actually put this idea into practice!

    Thanks in advance!
  3. mrs.abercrombie

    mrs.abercrombie New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
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    Jul 25, 2008

    ITUs are difficult no matter how you try to structure them. I think, with 40 kids, having them stay in specific groups [that you and the other teachers assign] for that week will be the easiest. They could be cross grades or not but that way they'll be a lot easier to assess and monitor.

    Also, as long as you have an underlying theme, not every class everyday has to directly correspond. I suggest you each come up with a skeleton lesson plan for that week then come together to see which can be taught in the same day. That makes it a lot easier to organize.

    Sounds like a really nice idea for a unit though. Have fun!

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