Below you will find the resources submitted by the 33 competition winners. Each page includes a unit plan, supplementary materials, and video. The below units are categorized based on grade level, but you may also filter your search by Subject and Instructional Strategy from the right-hand menu.
This special education unit targets both IEP goals and adapted academic standards for Kindergarten to 2nd grade students with severe and profound disabilities. Students engage in interactive activities around the theme of fall and apples, including story boxes, cooking, science experiments, and a culminating in-school field trip to an apple orchard. Throughout the unit, students practice communication skills and fine and gross motor skills, while learning prerequisite skills for English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies standards.
This Kindergarten unit – designed for an inclusion classroom – focuses on English language arts, mathematics and science standards. During this unit, students explore Dr. Seuss’ works to master rhyming, and identifying number symbols, number words, and details in texts. The unit concludes with an individual writing assignment and self-assessment. Throughout the unit, students with special needs receive social and emotional support to ensure they both progress towards their IEP goals and master the standards.
In this unit, kindergarteners use a combination of drawing, dictating and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts where they name what they are writing about and provide some information about the topic. During the unit, students use technology to research a topic related to the science standards. Students then participate in student-led writing conferences and teacher-monitored peer review– enabling them to take ownership of their writing. At the end of the unit, students present what they have learned to their classmates through PowerPoint, iPad video, an oral presentation, or play.
This ten-day kindergarten STEM unit incorporates English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics, and science standards and requires students to work collaboratively and use critical thinking skills. Students bring their own stuffed animals to school, sort their animals in different ways (movement, covering, and habitat), compare and contrast their stuffed animals to others in the class, and learn about baby animals. Students also complete the Can You Guess My Animal? Project – requiring them to incorporate facts about their animal into a riddle. Towards the end of the unit, students work collaboratively to engineer different shaped pens for their animals using a variety of materials, including Popsicle sticks, paper clips, play dough, pipe cleaners and yarn.
This unit plan – Bringing Vocabulary to Life: Using Our Words to Help Homeless Children engages students in explicit and systematic vocabulary instruction which strengthens their abilities to construct meaning of robust vocabulary. Throughout the unit plan, students embody the meanings of the words concerned, support, and compassionate by completing a service learning project. The core of the unit plan involves students learning about homelessness, and working on initiatives which both support homeless children, and help students master English Language Arts (ELA), mathematics and social studies standards. The unit is taught over a series of about five sessions. While the materials for this unit focus specifically on homelessness in Savannah, this unit can be adapted to address homelessness in your own town, city, county or state.
This unit uses project-based learning activities to help students investigate the driving question: how have new technologies in farming and weather prediction impacted the way we grow food today? Throughout the unit, students will engage in activities that require them to apply measurement skills, collect and analyze data, and apply knowledge of numbers and operations in base ten. This unit also requires students to collaborate, research, compare the content and quality of resources, and use the information they collect to make decisions and defend their findings to an audience.
In this integrated unit, first-graders learn English language arts, math, and science standards by exploring the monarch butterfly species and the basic needs of plants. Working collaboratively, students conduct research to understand the causes behind the dwindling monarch population and investigate ways to increase it. Using their research and ideas, students design a habitat to attract the monarchs and other pollinators. The unit culminates with students presenting their habitat designs to their classmates, parents and school community.
This lesson plan uses collaborative literacy stations to provide intensive, differentiated English Language Arts (ELA) instruction, and engage students in ELA, mathematics and science activities. At the beginning of each day, the teacher provides wholegroup instruction to review the current reading comprehension strategy. Then, students move through four stations – Small Group Instruction, Non-Fiction Listening Station, Big Book Station, and the Buddy Reading Station – where students work with either the teacher or their peers to explore concepts in ELA, mathematics, and science.
In this unit, second grade students will master English Language Arts (ELA) standards by assuming the role of a fairy tale character. Specifically, students will use various arts integrated strategies, including Hot Seat, Tableau, and Writing in Role, to develop and practice language and literacy skills. By using these strategies, students will gain meaningful knowledge about character traits and point of view.
In this unit, students combine traditional story-telling with technology to create a digital storybook about a monster. Using the book, The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings (El monstruo de los colores), students learn about emotions in Spanish and apply this knowledge to write a story of their own. Each student develops a monster character, scripts a story about it, and designs a puppet to perform in a mini-theater and feature in the culminating digital storybook. Although the plan is written to teach Spanish standards, it can easily be modified to teach English Language Arts standards.
During this project-based learning unit, students participate in the design process to identify and solve a real-world problem at their school – designing and building a garden bench for Drew Charter School’s TinkerYard. Students begin the unit by determining the resources needed, interviewing a master gardener, and researching details about garden benches. Then, with the help of a teaching artist, students use perspective drawing to sketch ideas for the garden bench. The unit concludes with students synthesizing drawings from the various groups, constructing the garden bench, and blending the bench with its surroundings.
This writing-based unit uses the story Enemy Pie by Derek Munson to challenge students to think critically about perspective and improve their writing skills. Students engage in discussion with their peers to understand first impressions and why writers use sensory language to engage readers. Further, students learn to use text evidence to support conclusions and express these conclusions in a final constructed response.
This unit third grade unit integrates engineering, ELA, mathematics, and social studies to teach students about the components of a country and robotics. In the first half of the unit, students delve into writing by conducting research on a country to create an informational booklet. The second half of the unit is dedicated to building a robot, which will represent the “athlete” in the culminating Robot Olympics. Throughout the unit, students gain skills in research, writing, engineering, and coding.
During this cross-curricular unit, students learn about Paul Revere and colonial times while mastering English Language Arts, mathematics, and social studies standards. At the beginning of the unit, students read And Then What Happened to Paul Revere by Jean Fritz. Students then conduct their own research about Paul Revere and colonial times, document their findings in an interactive notebook, and produce an informational writing piece. Students also explore mathematical concepts by analyzing Paul Revere’s midnight ride. At the end of the unit, students create and present a power point, song, poem, or poster with paragraphs demonstrating what they have learned.
During this one to two week unit, students explore the effects of pollution on our environment and conduct research using a variety of print and electronic sources. In addition to learning about pollution, students address English Language Arts standards by taking notes on print and digital sources, collaborating with peers, and writing an essay about recyclable and non-recyclable items. At the end of the unit, students share their knowledge through a presentation in the format of their choice, such as a PowerPoint, video, diorama, poster or play.
In this personalized and integrated computer science, English Language Arts, and mathematics unit, students learn to code using Python via the programming software, Code Combat. Using a series of unique strategies, including call and response and journaling, the unit seamlessly pairs culturally responsive pedagogy with content standards to engage all students as they learn to code. Throughout the unit, the class transforms into an internet café, where students choose the place and pace of their learning to complete coding asks.
During this unit, students learn social studies and English Language Arts (ELA) standards using a variety of blended learning strategies, including independent study, small group study, large group study, mixed grouping, and learning maps. The unit challenges students to analyze student power within an elementary school. Through actual simulations analogous to the American Revolution and self-paced blended learning maps, students answer the driving question, “How can we as students have more voice and power like the colonists during the American Revolution?”
In this integrated unit, students work in teams to create a business, purchase supplies, and sell products. As they develop their businesses, students explore how economic concepts have impacted consumers across time, as well as master mathematics and English language arts standards. The unit culminates in Market Day, where students present their businesses, sell their products to customers, calculate profits, and reflect on their experiences in an opinion paper.
In this project-based learning unit that integrates, science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics, students investigate how meteorologists measure and forecast the weather by engineering weather instruments, collecting and analyzing weather data, and producing a weather forecast. Throughout the unit students collect weather data using student-engineered weather instruments. Students then analyze and graph their data and utilize technology to develop a weather map. Finally, students create a script on the predicted weather patterns, record a weather forecast, and use editing software to finalize their videos.
This integrated unit challenges students to think critically about environmental conservation while applying English language arts, science, and social studies standards. Students learn about habitats, community development, and environmental agencies and their roles in influencing conservation efforts and the environment. Additionally, students conduct experiments on plant life to understand and observe various influences on natural habitats. With the help of community members, students conclude the unit with a 24-hour BioBlitz and collect data on and classify all of the animals and plants around the school. Students capture their findings with iPads and other devices and create an eBook for the school.
During this three week project-based learning unit, students collaborate to design a restaurant. Throughout the unit, students address mathematics standards by managing a $1,500,000 budget and designing a blueprint of their restaurant. Students also address English language arts and social studies standards by defining their target market, creating a name and logo for their restaurant, creating a menu, “buying” real estate, opening a business checking account and applying for a business license and launching an advertising campaign. Throughout the unit, students use a variety of apps and browser-based computer programs to carry out all project requirements. At the end of the unit, students present their restaurant plan and serve a dish from their menu to teachers, administrators and parents.
During this two week hands-on unit, students master volume computation and science skills by building model cities. Students first construct 3D cubes and rectangular prisms to deepen their understanding of area within the context of volume. Then, students work cooperatively in teams to build a city and find both the volume and additive volume of their structures. Additionally, students create circuits to use as lights for their buildings to learn elements of circuits, insulators and conductors.
Since 2014, Community Guilds has focused on delivering an innovative, gap-closing approach to education through its mobile makerspace, STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts), and Math) Truck, targeting elementary and middle school students. The STE(A)M Truck experience is anchored by a rigorous, experiential learning-based curriculum, which is brought to life in a mobile maker-space with the support and collective expertise of the local community. STE(A)M Truck creates a community of adult STE(A)M role models – “maker-mentors,” STE(A)M designers, and local artists, along with “traditional” educators – and connects them closely with youth; together, they tackle real problems, design solutions, and build things.
In this unit, fifth grade students learn social studies and technology standards simultaneously. First, in partners, students research a 19th century immigrant group of their choice. Then, using their research and coding knowledge, partners code a kiosk with information about the immigrant group that could be displayed at the Ellis Island museum.
During this unit, students use the novel Wonder, fiction and nonfiction texts, and other media to explore literary concepts, including point of view, character development, figurative language, setting, plot, mood, and tone. Students also practice analyzing literature, making predictions, and supporting their thoughts with evidence from the text. At the end of the unit, students apply their knowledge of these literary elements to create a documentary exploring the themes of bullying, peer pressure and fitting in.
During this three-week, flipped classroom unit, students investigate how constructive and destructive forces constantly change the Earth’s surface, and how scientists attempt to control these forces’ effects through tools and human intervention. Through Lego construction, video creation, group discussion, and hands-on activities, students learn how deposition, earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering, and erosion can build or destroy the Earth’s surface. The unit concludes with students predicting and attempting constructive and destructive forces, and debating the advantages and disadvantages of human intervention and technology.
This unit incorporates differentiated instruction and technology to help students master the fifth grade standard on adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals. Following a pre-test at the start of this unit, the teacher forms groups based on each student’s ability and readiness. Throughout the unit, students engage in rigorous and authentic learning tasks, including: small-group instruction, math journaling, Khan Academy, Edmodo math discussions, Mathcasting (student-created math videos), and QR code scavenger hunts. These activities both encourage students to work collaboratively, and allow students to work at their own pace.
Students will obtain hands on understanding through application activities in order to solve linear equations in one variable and interpret, determine, and create various equations that have one solution, no solutions, or infinite many solutions.
In this 10-day, integrated unit plan, students learn about rates and ratios. Students first learn how to identify and write ratios, then they learn how to solve equivalent ratios and measurement conversions, and have the opportunity to apply them to a real-world situation. In the latter part of the unit, the class receives a fictional request from a European client in which they must design a store endcap. In the process, they will apply their ratio, rate, and conversion knowledge to design the endcap for the European market.
This writing unit explores the history of the Holocaust and how it relates to modern-day bullying. Students examine poems, literature and other text to enhance their knowledge of the Holocaust while strengthening their understanding of tone, mood, allegory, diction, point of view, and theme. Then, students write an informative essay on their literary understanding within the context of the Holocaust and its connection to bullying. The unit concludes with students using their writing to create a public service announcement.
In this interactive geometry unit, students work in differentiated groups to master finding the area and volume of two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. Throughout the unit, students use technology – including iPads, video conferencing apps, and 3D printers – to identify shapes around the school and practice geometric calculations. The unit concludes with a final project where students diagram, label, and calculate the volume and surface area of their classroom.
In this English Language Arts (ELA) unit plan, students work in groups to create a small business idea. Throughout the unit, students develop a small business idea, interview small business owners in the community, strengthen their business plan based on ideas they gleaned from their interviews, and finally, pitch their ideas - using persuasive language and advertisements - to business owners in their community.
This unit provides a differentiated novel study of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and focuses on informational writing and theme analysis. During the unit, students develop their reading comprehension skills, use higher-order thinking skills to discuss the book with their peers and teachers, and use technology – including Nearpod, Padlet, and PicCollage – to analyze a setting’s relationship with the theme. At the end of the unit, students integrate what they have learned in order to write their own analysis of the text in the form of a newspaper article, pamphlet or a recorded or live news report with a written transcript. In this document, you will find a suggested reading schedule, a unit calendar, and links to the apps you need to implement these activities.
In this project-based learning unit that integrates engineering applications, physical science, and visual arts, students assume the role of engineer to build a safe, stable, and fun roller coaster. Using the Engineering Design Process as the guide, students research effective designs, sketch a prototype, build the roller coaster, as well as calculate the average speed and energy of the roller coaster. Throughout the unit students document the design process and use the media to create an online presentation for their peers. Students finish the unit by grading the peers’ work.
In this integrated, seventh-grade biology unit, students learn about the concepts of active and passive transport in cells. In the first half of the unit, students conduct labs and a series of thought experiments to deeply understand diffusion, homeostasis, and osmosis. In the second half of the unit, students apply their knowledge of active and passive transport to design a solution to the real-world question, “How can we solve the potable water crisis in Puerto Rico?” Then, students work together to create a biofuels company. Finally, students take on the role of a medical counselor and work to understand and accurately explain cell diseases.
The Orion missions are NASA-sponsored missions to send astronauts to the Moon and then to Mars by 2030. In the unit plan, students collaborate to apply sixth grade earth science and math standards, as well critical thinking and problem solving skills to design solar panels for the shuttle missions to Mars. Following the engineering design process, students construct a solar panel prototype that incorporates the use of coding to tilt and rotate to obtain the maximum amount of sunlight each day.
This unit goes along with Unit 6, Modeling Geometry, of the Analytic Geometry Course. Throughout the unit, students will compare and contrast linear and quadratic equations, solve systems involving both equations by hand, make connections between right triangles and circles, and participate in hands on activities – such as heating up a broom with a giant paraboloid – that make mathematical concepts come to life. At the end of the unit, students will apply what they have learned to construct their own hot dog cookers and celebrate their new knowledge by cooking hot dogs.
During this blended learning, self-paced unit, students utilize rhetorical analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of speeches and informational texts. Students start the unit by taking a diagnostic test, and, if needed, completing a writing boot camp. Then, students complete several analytical exercises focused on logical fallacies and rhetorical analysis. Throughout the unit, students engage with political cartoons, famous speeches from American history, and popular culture to develop an understanding of rhetorical analysis. The unit concludes with students writing a five-paragraph rhetorical analysis.
In this project-based unit, medieval times provide a platform for students to learn about projectile motion and practice advanced algebra skills. Students learn about motion, velocity, acceleration, and parabolic equations to design and build catapults. Students then compete in a “Punkin’ Chunkin’” competition and see the results of their catapult designs. The unit concludes with students collecting and analyzing data from the catapult launches and reflecting on the unit.
The Sports Broadcast Institute (SBI) at Rockdale College and Career Academy allows students to master Audio, Video, Technology, and Film (AVTF) standards as well as work in an environment that resembles a real life production company. In this unit from the SBI, students work collaboratively and independently to prepare for a live sports broadcast event by creating feature pieces, commercials, and news segments that will be incorporated into the live broadcast. Throughout the unit, students apply their knowledge of lighting, camera effects, and postproduction, including editing and typography. The unit ends with students directing and taking full responsibility for the live broadcast event.
This unit uses the enticing scenario of a zombie apocalypse to teach students rhetoric and rhetorical appeal. Students practice identifying persuasive techniques in multiple forms of writing and speech – famous film speeches, advertisements, TED Talks, and a letter written by Lebron James – and collaborate in small groups to discuss effective rhetorical strategies. Students conclude the unit by writing their own rhetorical letters with the goal of convincing a selection committee to choose a selected character to survive a zombie apocalypse.
This project-based unit guides students in analyzing the cost of a college education through the use of algebraic and statistical skills. Students first research college investment options and make decisions based on longitudinal data and trends from a scatter plot. Then, students choose an appropriate regression model to analyze their data. The unit concludes as students analyze and share their findings and use these data to make practical financial preparations for college.
College & Career Learning units equip students with the skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and the workforce.
This 21-day integrated STEAM unit challenges students to apply their knowledge of kinetic energy to create wind power. Students collaborate to master art, engineering, geometry, and physics standards by designing and building wind turbines capable of lighting light-emitting diodes (LEDs). During the project, the class is divided into groups, where each is responsible for designing a specific part of a kinetic sculpture. The unit culminates with the class presenting their final design to a real-world client.