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Integrated Lesson Instructions
What is Integrated Curriculum? Integration is a philosophy of teaching in which content is drawn from several subject areas to focus on a particular theme or concept. Rather than studying math or social studies in isolation, for example, a class might study a unit called The Sea, using math to calculate pressure at certain depths and social studies to understand why coastal and inland populations have different livelihoods. Effective interdisciplinary studies include the following elements:
- A topic that lends itself to study from several points of view.
- 2–5 or essential questions the teacher wants the students to explore.
- An approach and activities to further students’ understanding more than is possible in a traditional, single-discipline lesson.
Adapted from: McBrien, J. L., & Brandt, R. S. (1997). The language of learning: A guide to education terms. p. 55. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
To understand when to integrate, the following questions can be asked:
- Can I teach the goals and objectives of each particular content area being considered with this topic? (Define the SCS objectives and the criteria for achievement).
- Will my efforts to integrate most likely increase student learning and understanding? (Is it relevant)?
- How will what I do affect students’ learning? (Identify the outcomes).
Integrated lessons should integrate concepts across content areas, utilize concept maps focusing on all subject areas in planning integrated instruction, identify natural integrated skills within areas (such as science process skills with math skills and communication skills), and use identified children’s literature that will connect language arts and other content area objectives.
You are to develop one extensive and complete lesson plan that would be part of a unit teaching science to children at the appropriate grade level. The lesson plan will be based on the 5 E’s Learning Cycle, must involve the entire class, and must be developed using the template provided. You must integrate a minimum of two subject areas. Use science content as the base and then include other subjects, such as reading, language arts, math and/or writing.