EDUB 3060 - Middle Years Social Studies

Rubric – Final Project – Inquiry or “Big Question” Unit Plan


The purpose of having you develop a small unit plan is to assist you in thinking beyond single lesson planning. This activity is meant to provide an opportunity for you to create a plan for a two-week unit consisting of about ten one hour lessons organized around a “big question” or inquiry.


The Manitoba Social Studies Curriculum provides an organizing structure and possible resources and teaching strategies to use for each cluster. There is an explicit scope and sequence (topics organized by grade) that also places a structure on the units (clusters and sub-clusters). This assignment will demonstrate how to build a “big” question inquiry unit using the existing cluster topics and concepts, learning objectives, and its resources, yet it will provide you an alternative to the existing curriculum organization. It is a more student-directed way to organize curriculum as students make some of the decisions about research and presentation. It also can provide you a chance to add your own creativity and goals to the units.

The step-by-step process will be demonstrated in class and examples will be provided. Time will be allocated in class to allow for review and feedback from colleagues on your work in progress. You will create a big question inquiry unit using a grade level or cluster theme or an ESD topic of your choice and hand it in as your final project for this curriculum and instruction course. My goal is to have the unit plans assessed and returned to you before you go out to your teaching placement. I also would like to place your unit plans on a web site for others to utilize if you provide permission.


Unit Plan Format

A. Descriptive Characteristics

Title / Theme –The “big” question or inquiry focus

Student Target Population / Grade Level and Cluster

Estimated Time Required: The minimal or suggested goal is 10 lessons of about an hour each. A longer unit is acceptable.

Overall Goal or Rationale: Develop a brief overview of the unit and outline why this unit is worth teaching and learning? Identify a goal or set of goals that this unit will be designed accomplish.

B. Guiding questions and or subtopics: Break the big idea or theme into a set of more specific ideas, smallersubtopics or concepts, or guiding questions.

C. Specific Outcomes and Goals: List the specific learning outcomes to be accomplished with the unit and arrange them in sequential order. They should include Manitoba Education Social Studies Knowledge, Skills and Value outcomes, but could include ELA, Science, Math, and Arts outcomes as well. You should include your own outcomes or goals as well.

D. List of Resources: Identify, locate, and organize all the individuals, and the instructional resources that are available and might be used. Organize this list into sub-categories of books / Internet sites / other media / speakers/ fieldtrips / etc.

E. A student assessment plan: Develop a student assessment plan which includes all assessments that you will use to ensure that students are meeting your objectives and must include a culminating student performance or activity with a rubric. Include the weighting of each assessment.

F. A breakdown of each lesson with a description of what will be done in the lesson including what strategies the teacher will use, what the students will do, any assessment that will be carried out and materials needed. The teaching strategies should be listed under each of the lessons and assist students in addressing the subtopics or guiding questions that led to the culminating activity. The first lesson is the Opener Lesson and should get students excited about the inquiry? The Culminating Activity must allow each individual students to present their answer to the “Big Question” as an individual but could also include a group response.

G. A reflective paper (about one page) that address the following:
What did you learn about yourself as a teacher during the development of this unit plan?
Why is it important for your students to participate in this unit? Or not?
How does this unit fit within your goal framework as a social studies teacher and your belief statements about teaching and learning? Or not?
Do you see a difference, an advantage, or incentive to the use inquiry learning? Explain.

Due: November 3rd

Assessment Rubric

An excellent unit plan will have the following characteristics:

Here are some final HINTS for completing your unit plan.

Weight: 30% of Final Grade


- A grade of 25.5 (B+) will be assigned for completion of responses and assignments to the Quality

   Standard outlined above.

- Grades above the 25.5 will be based on exceptional work reflecting extra effort

- Grades below the 25.5 will be based on incomplete and / or work below the Quality Standard