Friday, June 6, 2008

Layered Curriculum

Almost two years ago, I went to a presentation by Kathie Nunley at the Iowa At-Risk Conference. I was impressed with a teacher strategy called, "Layered Curriculum" and have been using it for key units since.

Layered Curriculum uses a three step (She uses Layer C, B, A and I use Section I, II, III). Lowest level/layer is the bottom of Bloom Taxonomy. Basic knowledge level information that can be done in projects or in writing. Higher levels are higher order thinking. Most items are orally defended....which also means that the teacher moves and the kids sit still.

I use this strategy in sixth grade music with a Music History Unit. It is truly amazing what kids can do and how they learn when they have choice and guide their own thinking. Below you will find the unit I do and some photos of favorite projects. I took some criticism for having an assignment that involved the kids drawing a composer or a work of art. So, I asked the kids about the composer when they showed me the picture....... They knew about them! Even though the assignment didn't say anything about knowing about the composer, the kids WANTED to know about the person they were drawing. I have had the best conversations of my teaching career using this strategy.

Also see sample units on Kathie Nunley's Site. Including mine!!!!

1 comment:

Peggy Healy Stearns said...

Terry, I LOVE the music history assignments outlined on the PDF above. I taught social studies for many years before I started designing software, and these were the kinds of activities that motivated kids and brought the classroom to life. Your creativity is inspiring!