How to plan a knowledge unit in English

What makes an excellent teaching unit? Feeds into my thinking about sequence planning.

Pragmatic Education

Instructional sequences have the capacity to make students smart or not.’

Siegfried Engelmann

In teaching it seems the focus is often on what makes an outstanding lesson. I think we need to spend much more time thinking about what makes an excellent unit.

In this blogpost I want to explain how we might go about designing a unit of learning in English. What if we coherently sequenced knowledge for cultural capital and enduring memory? Much depends on the curriculum sequence, but I just want to focus on unit design for now.

This approach is a little bit like going through Lewis Caroll’s looking glass: once you go through, it’s hard to imagine going back. Such is the analogy used by David Didau to describe the shift from unit planning that starts from overarching skills, to unit planning that starts from underpinning knowledge.

LookingGlass   Wonderland

Why would we design units…

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