Assessment Strategies
and Tools

Standards-Based Curriculum Planning

It's tempting to decide on neat Journey North activities you’d like students to engage in and then figure out how you can fit in your required teaching standards. Consider reversing the process instead. When you do so, the studies and activities you choose will help students progress toward your learning goals. Here are some important questions to ask:

  1. What are my teaching/learning goals? Consider your teaching and learning goals as they relate to local, state, or national standards. What do you most want students to know, understand, and be able to do? Which of these might best be met through Journey North? Don’t tackle more than you or your students can manage.

  2. How will I know if students have achieved them? (What evidence do I need?) Think about the different kinds of evidence (formal and informal) that would persuade you that students are making progress toward achieving these standards. (For instance, Students would be able to interpret data, set up an investigation, and create a map from data.)

  3. What are the “big ideas” and principles? (For instance, Adaptations are structural and behavioral features that enable an organism to survive in its environment.)

    What engaging, essential questions will I use to focus learning? (For instance, What drives and enables monarchs to migrate thousands of miles?)

  4. What learning experiences, lessons, and activities will help students develop the desired understanding, attitudes, and skills? What knowledge or concepts need to be taught directly? How will I accommodate different learning styles and capacities? Always ask, How will this help meet standards?

  5. Which resources from Journey North and elsewhere will support this unit?