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Integrated Instructional Unit Samples
From the Spring of 2015 through the Fall of 2016, educators have been engaged in developing integrated units for the elementary grades based on the sample instructional units. These educators used existing units of study and curriculum overviews as references for this development which integrate a variety of content areas. The primary design specification for this development was to maintain discipline integrity of the content areas used.
This creation was in response to requests from elementary educators and school leaders across the state looking to honor the “all students, all standards” principle behind CAP4K and implementing ten core disciplines within the Colorado Academic Standards. Additional integrated units for elementary and middle school grade levels will be developed and added to this page as this project continues.
To watch the PLC Byte Recorded Overview of the Elementary Arts Integrated Units (11 minutes) click here: https://vimeo.com/136947251
Elementary Integrated Units
Unit Title: Body Systems Dance (Greeley-Evans School District 6)
Unit Description: This unit is integrated with Dance, Physical Education and Science. It allows the educator and students to learn about and explore human body systems (e.g., Circulatory, Digestive, Muscular, etc.) through movement elements. Students will work in small groups to create movement that will symbolize the movements of selected body systems. The unit will culminate in a school wide field day where stations of student groups will explain and perform the workings of a human body system to participants.
Integrated Unit Title: Building Diverse Relationships (Center Consolidated School District 26JT)
Unit Description: This unit allows students to study how various personal and interpersonal factors influence individual’s choices that may result in lack of respect for or intolerance of differences. Additionally, as short term and long term consequences from bullying are accessed, students will have opportunities to recognize the power and importance of positive communication and acceptance of others. Reading strategies, elements of narrative text and characterization will be integrated throughout the learning experiences to support the development of skills such as pro-social behavior, inclusion and healthy relationships. The unit concludes with students reading a short story about bullying. They will then annotate the story for bullying consequences and positive pro-social behaviors to finally create a news story sharing alternatives to bullying.
Integrated Unit Title: Character Counts! (Garfield RE-2 School District)
Unit Description: This unit allows students to develop critical thinking and reasoning skills in order to understand and apply the benefits of healthy habits as they pertain to exercise, group activities, hobbies, sportsmanship/character and goal setting. Students will assess the cause and effect relationship of external influences on sportsmanship, choices in social interactions, participation in physical activities/groups/hobbies and goals/achievement. The unit culminates with students applying their knowledge of sportsmanship and positive social interactions to develop a “public service” reminder poster to students of the desired actions/reactions during activities to be displayed throughout the school.
Integrated Unit Title: Conflicts and Resolutions (East Grand School District)
Unit Description: This unit looks at conflict through the lenses of diverse perspectives (e.g. media, family, community, society, etc.) in order to identify how conflict affects mental and emotional health. Students will utilize narrative and informational texts to identify various conflicts. This unit culminates with students working with peers to create a 5th Grade School Newspaper. The newspaper will encompass all aspects of a “real” newspaper (e.g. comic strips, editorials, sports and news articles) illustrating various conflicts and types of writing.
Unit Title: Bust a Move: Bringing Colorado History to Life through Newsplay (Academy School District 20)
Unit Description: This unit is designed to integrate two 4th grade units of study: Social Studies unit “Boom and Bust” and Drama Theatre Arts Unit “Back in the Day…Primary Sources Come Alive”. This integrated unit will literally bring history to life! It starts with an example of a major boom and bust cycle –the fur trapping/trade industry (mountain men). From there, the unit moves on to mining and the gold/silver booms of the 1850s, which allows students to consider demand that is based on status (and scarcity). The historical sources utilized in the theatre activities are based on these specific events in Colorado history. These events appear in every Colorado history textbook and illuminate major industries in the state (mining/trading). They also highlight a significant turning point in the history of the United States and western expansion (manifest destiny). But the focus is on the multiple perspectives and conflict (e.g., over land rights) around these events. The goal is to accurately capture the conflict and diverse perspectives in a 4th grade appropriate manner. The unit concludes with a performance assessment in the form of a news play. The news play incorporates the perspectives of fur traders (mountain men), Native Americans, and miners and the conflicts that each group faced during the boom and bust cycles.
Unit Title: Whose Land Is It Anyway? (Stanley British Primary School, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Brighton School District, and Platte Canyon School District)
Unit Description: In this unit, students will focus on the interdependence of organisms in their environments. Students will understand the cause and effect relationships of Colorado’s environmental systems by identifying, observing and analyzing patterns among biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) components of ecosystems. Across the unit’s 4-6 week duration, students will explore the diverse economic, social, civic, geographic and ecological factors that influence Colorado.
Integrated Unit Title: Nutrition Castaways (Mesa County Valley School District 51)
Unit Description: This unit implements a variety of learning experiences that provides students with opportunities to develop their understanding of nutrition, calories, healthy lifestyle choices and the F.I.T.T. (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of exercise) Principle. The concepts of choices, lifestyle habits, body signals, health, wellness, and the identification of nutritional value are the main focus of this integrated comprehensive health and physical education unit. An active game called “Nutrition Island” requires students to utilize their nutritional knowledge and provides the culminating assessment for this unit.
Integrated Unit Title: Relationships Matter! (East Grand School District)
Unit Description: This unit allows students to develop knowledge, skills, and relationships in relation to cultures, values, traditions, and beliefs so students can develop positive support systems. Students will recognize that often times, conflict and stress stem from diverse cultures, values, traditions, and beliefs. This unit culminates with a performance assessment of a narrative story. Students will incorporate elements of support systems, healthy relationships addressing diverse cultures, values, traditions, and beliefs as well as incorporating orthography and morphology to create a story. The goal of this unit is to give students the skills of forming healthy relationships, support systems, and conflict resolution regarding diversities.
Unit Title: State Your Claim with an Architectural Twist (Greeley-Evans School District 6)
Unit Description: State Your Claim with an Architectural Twist is a third grade integrated visual art and social studies unit focusing on architecture and community-based decision-making. It begins with a focus on students’ personal community, and moves into considerations of the ways in which communities negotiate conflict around community issues, particularly new construction plans. Students will consider how diverse perspectives contribute to the discussion and resolution of the financial decisions associated with new construction.
During the 6-8 weeks of the unit, students will examine their own financial choices, respond to primary and secondary sources related to a specific new construction decision within their community, analyze how specific architectural choices impact community decisions and examine the ways in which diverse perspectives in the community are voiced during the decision making process. This unit will culminate with a final project in which students synthesize the information they know about architecture to create a specialized community gathering place that reflects the needs of their community to create 2D sketches, blueprints and a finalized 3D model. Students will be asked to share their reasoning for the proposed new construction and defend their position on the design of the community gathering place, the distinct economic ramifications, and how it will better the community.
Integrated Unit Title: How About We All Communicate? (Center Consolidated School District 26JT)
Unit Description: In this unit, students will study perspectives and point of view in order understand conflict, both personal and literary, so they can use it for decision making, interpersonal communication, and creating healthy boundaries. Additionally, students will study how cause and effect relationships are present in different types of texts in order to understand the relationships between concepts, ideas, and actions. Students will use cause and effect vocabulary to explain causal relationships. The unit culminates with students working with a team of peers to create a news segment that will inform the student body about effective strategies for problem solving with others.
Integrated Unit Title: Let's All Get Along (Garfield RE-2 School District)
Unit Description: This unit is designed to use the school environment to explore common and shared expectations for the treatment of others in the classroom, gym, and playground during structured and unstructured times. Third grade students may have skills to identify and communicate personal needs appropriate for their age and life experiences; however, the unit allows for students who may have varied views of appropriate boundaries due to developmental needs for positive decision-making skills and conflict resolution skills to build and enhance healthy relationships. During the performance assessment students will work with a partner to create a value.com billboard that emphasize the kinds of values and strategies needed to express emotions, personal needs, boundaries, sportsmanship skills and communication in order to develop healthy relationships.
Integrated Unit Title: Imagining Musical Stories (Poudre School District)
Unit Description: This unit is an integrated of Reading, Writing, and Communicating and Music. It allows the educator and students to learn about and explore imagination through reading, writing, and communicating and music. Students will work in small groups to create musical stories that will symbolize the both their culture and imagination. The unit will culminate in a sharing of their stories in their classrooms.
Integrated Unit Title: Communication At Its Best! (Center Consolidated School District 26JT)
Unit Description: In this unit, students will develop strategies to build healthy relationships that create respect and empathy toward others. A focus will be on enhancing skills such as positive communication, distinguishing between teasing and bullying, reading grade-level text with purpose and understanding and reading grade-level text orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression. The unit concludes with students sorting qualities of teasing and bullying into a t-chart and creating a storyboard with a bullying scenario and resolution.
Integrated Unit Title: Plants and Animals in Habitats/Lifelong Healthy Eating (Jefferson County Public Schools)
Unit Description: This unit explores structures and functions of organisms based on their environment. Students will begin to understand how structures and functions of an organism help it survive within its environment. Students will learn these concepts through exploring different organisms, habitats, and the foods organisms and humans eat to stay healthy. The unit concludes with students creating a comparison model that describes an organism and human habitat, its environment surroundings, and food choices that help it to survive.
Integrated Unit Title: Project Healthy Transformation (Garfield RE-2 School District)
Unit Description: This unit allows students to develop critical thinking and reasoning skills in order to understand and apply the benefits of healthy habits as they pertain to nutrition, exercise, water intake and sleep habits. Students will assess the cause and effect relationship of body signals as it relates to healthy fuel requirements and physical activity. The unit culminates with students applying habits to develop a transformer game that exemplifies their most powerful self and highest level of physical and emotional fitness.
Integrated Unit Title: Remarkable Relationships (Mesa County Valley School District 51)
Unit Description: This unit implements a variety of learning experiences that provides students with opportunities to develop their understanding of healthy interpersonal relationships. The concepts of respect, acceptance, communication, cooperation, and positive relationship behaviors (e.g. body language and verbal language) are the main focus of this integrated comprehensive health and physical education unit. Students will create and perform role playing scenarios that demonstrate examples of these positive relationship skills provide the culminating assessment for this unit.
Unit Title: Creative Expression for Healthy Problem Solving (Greeley-Evans District 6 and Think 360 Arts)
Unit Description: This unit explores the ways that human and animal characters express emotions both verbally and non-verbally. The unit asks students to include what they know about characters (human and animal) and their environments to further explore the ways in which actors use context and physical structure (i.e., body types, sizes, etc.) in creating characters. The unit builds to a culminating performance assessment that asks students to create and perform a living-book project that includes the story environment as well as verbal/non-verbal communication, facial expressions, and body language in order to express emotions. The goal of this unit is to help teach children to develop life-long skills around appropriate and healthy problem-solving. Through the use of experiential learning and dramatic re-telling, students will articulate how writers use animal stories/fables to illuminate conflicts similar to problems people face in their own lives.
Integrated Unit Title: Buddy Builders (Mesa County Valley School District 51)
Unit Description: This unit implements a variety of learning experiences that allow students to develop their positive communication skills. The concepts of cooperation, teamwork, responsible social behavior, critical thinking and reasoning, space, communication, and problem-solving skills are the main focus of this integrated comprehensive health and physical education unit. The culminating performance assessment for this unit has students working in small groups to build an object and requires students to utilize skills of team building, communication, and problem-solving in order to complete the task.
Integrated Unit Title: Communication Builds Relationships (East Grand School District)
Unit Description: This unit looks at the five main emotions and appropriate and inappropriate emotional responses through the lens of character’s decisions and how they affect relationships. Through examination of verbal and nonverbal communication skills using a fiction and/or nonfiction story and/or video students can identify and express their beliefs verbally or nonverbally. This unit culminates with students creating an “Emotion” book that incorporates identifying emotions with appropriate and/or inappropriate responses and how those responses affect relationships.
Integrated Unit Title: Staying Alive (Jefferson County Public Schools)
Unit Description: This unit explores interaction and survival techniques of various organisms in our environment. Students will consider what would happen if a person or other organism did not receive one of its most basic needs such as water, food, or shelter. Through the examination of concepts such as decision making, choices, survival, characteristics, and resources students will also be able to make connections about healthy food choices in their own life. The unit concludes with students creating a playing card that describes a living organism, its environment, nutrients, and physical characteristics.
Integrated Unit Title: Shape Detectives (Thompson School District)
Unit Description: This unit focuses on recognizing, naming, and using geometric shapes.
Integrated Unit Title: Moving & Grooving (Jefferson County Public Schools)
Unit Description: This unit explores variation in movement patterns in relation to one’s place in space. Students will demonstrate the concepts of motion using their bodies in a safe manner. Through the exploration of various animals, students will mimic their locomotion through body movement. The unit concludes with the students becoming a zoo animal and acting out its unique movement styles.
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