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O'dea's DEP Page

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                             Understanding By Design Unit Template



Title of Unit

 Colorado History     

Grade Level


Subject Area (s)


Time Frame



     Young, McPhail 

Desired Results (Stage 1)

Essential Content (Subject Area) Standards and Benchmarks/Indicators


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


Essential Questions

(connected to overarching and supporting understandings)

Overarching Understanding (“Big Idea”)

Various factors contribute to expansion, movement and settlement of peoples.


   What natural resources were abundant in the Colorado Territory in the 1800's? 


How did these resources determine which groups came to the Colo. Territory?


Why did people of various cultures migrate to and settle in Colorado?


What physical characteristics led various cultural groups to select the places they did for settlement in Colorado?


At what point did your family come to Colorado and why did they come? 


Supporting Understandings

Students will understand:  The abundance or lack or resources creates a need for movement or immigration.


Students will understand the basic needs of civilizations and how innovation and progress can meet those needs.


Students will understand how natural resources contributed to the westward expansion into the Colorado Territory.







Students will know…


Students will be able to…

   Abundance or lack of resources.  (Trappers, miners, military)

Innovation and progress (Mining techniques, railroad, system of forts)  

Key people (Chief Ouray, Bent, Alfred Packer, etc.)

Key groups (Utes, settlers, trappers, miners, railroad workers, farmers)   









Assessment Evidence (Stage 2)


Assessment of Overarching Understanding/Big Idea


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


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


               Assessment Strategy (performance task description)













                   Evidence of development of supporting understandings, knowledge and skills

(identify assessment criteria, strategies and tools for each)















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





     B.  Student Exploration of Essential Questions













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

How will you cause students to reflect and rethink?  How will you guide them in rehearsing, revising, and refining their work?



Where are your students headed?  Where have they been?  How will you make sure the students know where they are going?


How will you help students to exhibit and self-evaluate their growing skills, knowledge, and understanding throughout the unit?



How will you hook students at the beginning of the unit?

How will you tailor and otherwise personalize the learning plan to optimize the engagement and effectiveness of ALL students, without compromising the goals of the unit?



What events will help students experience and explore the big idea and questions in the unit?  How will you equip them with needed skills and knowledge?

How will you organize and sequence the learning activities to optimize the engagement and achievement of ALL students?





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

   ISBN # 0-87120-313-8 (ppk)

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