• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Johnson's DEP Page

Page history last edited by slavende@... 9 years, 7 months ago




                             Understanding By Design Unit Template



Title of Unit

   Colorado History   

Grade Level

    4th Grade  

Subject Area (s)

   Social Studies   

Time Frame

    September 2010-May 2011  


   Hunter, Lavender, Matzdorff, Schilling   

Desired Results (Stage 1)

Essential Content (Subject Area) Standards and Benchmarks/Indicators

Standard: 1.1 - Organize and sequence events to understand the concepts of chronology and cause and effect in the history of Colorado.

Standard 1.2 - The historical eras, individuals, groups, ideas and themes in Colorado history and their relationships to key events in the United States.

Standard 2.2 Connections within and across human and physical systems are developed.   

National Education Technology Standards (Choose 2-3 to focus on)





     Creativity and Innovation          Communication and Collaboration            Research and Information Fluency



       Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making         Digital Citizenship         Tech Operations and Concepts


Creativity and innovation – Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and process using technology.  Students:

  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • Create original works as a means of personal or group expressions.
  • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
  • Identify trends and forecast possibilities.


Communication and Collaboration – Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.  Students:

  • Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
  • Develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
  • Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.


Research and Information Fluency – Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.  Students:

  • Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
  • Process data and report results.



Essential Questions

(connected to overarching and supporting understandings)

Overarching Understanding (“Big Idea”)


Students will understand how diverse groups have influenced the development of an area.


  1. What social and economic decisions caused people to locate in various regions of Colorado? 
  2. In what ways have geographic, economic, cultural, and technological changes influenced Colorado today?
  3. Why did people of various cultures migrate to and settle in Colorado?
  4. To what extent have unity and diversity shaped Colorado?
  5. What physical characteristics led various cultural groups to select the places they did for settlement in Colorado?


Supporting Understandings

  • Diverse groups
  • Circumstances influence culture
  • People influence culture



Students will know the culture and conflicts (groups and resources) of…


Students will be able to…

  • American Indians
  • Explorers
  • Fur Trappers and Traders
  • Gold Miners
  • Spanish Americans
  • Famous People
  • Prehistoric People
  • apply creative thinking and innovation to create an original product
  • collaborate and communicate what they have learned
  • locate, organize and ethnically use information from a variety of sources and medias
  • create and analyze timelines
  • apply strategies for reading and understanding non-fiction texts
  • use time management and organization skills to complete work






Assessment Evidence (Stage 2)


Assessment of Overarching Understanding/Big Idea


               Assessment Criteria (students will be able to… student application of Six Facets of Understanding)

Through a photo story, students will be able to:

  • apply their knowledge of the influences diverse groups have on the development of an area. (Apply)
  • explain how the cultures of diverse groups influence the development of an area. (Explain)
  • interpret non-fiction text while researching the diverse groups of an area. (Interpret)
  • formulate their own position on present day culture based on given knowledge gained throughout the unit. (Perspective)


               Assessment Tool (describe type of assessment tool to be used here - post completed tool with unit)


               Assessment Strategy (performance task description)


Your goal is to create a photo story to demonstrate your understanding of influences of diverse culture groups. 


Your job is to collaborate, research, and apply time management and organizational skills.


Your target audience is your peers and a panel of 4th grade teachers.


You will work in a small group where you will create and present a photo story.  


You will create a photo story in able to show how the cultures of diverse groups have influenced the development of an area. 


Your photo story will be assessed using a student friendly rubric.

                   Evidence of development of supporting understandings, knowledge and skills

(identify assessment criteria, strategies and tools for each)


The student will be able to explain the characteristics of a culture.

Strategy:  The teacher will give direct instruction on the characteristics of a culture.  Then the students will apply what they learned about cultures and explain their family’s culture.

Tool:  Students will create a KWL.


The student will understand what makes groups diverse.

Strategy:  The students will compare and contrast the different cultures that exist within our classrooms.

Tool:  In partners, students will create a venn diagram comparing their choice of 2 of the cultures represented in our class.


The student will understand how circumstances affect culture.

Strategy:  The students will collaborate and work in groups to research past circumstances and their effects on culture.  Each teacher will divide their kids into 6 heterogeneous groups (American Indians of Colorado, Explorers of Colorado, Fur Trappers and Traders, Spanish Americans, Gold Miners, and Prehistoric People Colorado, and Famous People of Colorado).  The students will create a photo story of their assigned culture group to share with the rest of the class.

Tool:  We will use a student friendly rubric to assess each group’s photo story.


Students will understand how people influence culture.

Strategy:  Guest speakers will come and share their cultural experiences with the students demonstrating how people influence culture.

Tool:  Students will show their understanding by writing a thank you letter to the guest speakers.













Evidence of student application of selected National Educational Technology Standards during the course of the unit? (Note: assessment of the NETS standards should be integrated with assessment of unit understandings, knowledge and skills and embedded within unit learning activities)





Learning Experiences (Stage 3)

                   Consider the questions in the boxes below as you design learning experiences that support student achievement of desired results and exploration of unit essential questions.



                        Building Background/Connecting to Students’ Current Understandings, Knowledge and Skills


1.) Students will participate in Colorado History field trips (Capital/Colorado Museum of History and Fort Collins Rendezvous) to make connections to what they learned in the classroom.  This will enable them to reflect and rethink what they have learned.

2.) Students will learn the Colorado standards using the Rendezvous books as well as other resources (united streaming,etc.).


     B.  Student Exploration of Essential Questions


1.) Students will listen to guest speakers that will talk about contributions to the development of Colorado’s culture (Iron Thumb).  Iron Thumb.wmv


2.) Students will look at a variety of non-fiction resources (books, Library of Congress website, united streaming videos, google earth, historical mapping sites) to study all of the pieces that contributed to Colorado’s culture.


3.) Students will create a model of a prehistoric home of their choice reflecting the culture of the Prehistoric People of Colorado.   mesa verde       tipi


4.) Students will create a movie demonstrating their knowledge of the geography of Colorado. Video 4.MP4


5.) Students will create a Photo Story demonstrating their understanding of their assigned group of People of Colorado.  Gold rush photo story.wmv      Spanish Americans of Colorado.wmv                                   Photo Story of Colorado History Rubric.doc



Use “Where To…” as a tool to assess the quality and scope of unit learning experiences.

Students will review and reflect on previous knowledge on their assigned group of people. 



We will have clear objectives, the learning process defined, established expectations, and self/peer evaluations.


Students will self-evaluate their level of understanding for their assigned group, and will conduct research to further their understanding.



We will show the students a Photo Story sample to intrigue them while demonstrating expectations for the finished product.

The students will be in assigned groups of 2-3 students.  This will allow all students to actively participate in the creation of the Photo Story.



Students will study Colorado History throughout the year.  They will go on field trips, have guest speakers, and utilize internet resources.

Students will plan their Photo Story in their assigned groups before they create it. 




From:  Wiggins, Grant and J. Mc Tighe. (1998). Understanding by Design, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

   ISBN # 0-87120-313-8 (ppk)






Comments (1)

kschilli@... said

at 3:57 pm on Jun 2, 2010

Success - Learning how to create a photo story and use wordle have been beneficial. We also like our family!

Challenge - It is hard to decide what to buy.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.