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Lesson Plans

Curriculum Issues

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Fri, 14 Mar 1997 15:11:36 -0700

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In the past ten years, we have been working in 18 elementary schools and fi=
nally have figured out that everyone has their own definition of a theme, a=
nd those definitions are very diverse. Here are some random thoughts on th=

When a theme goes on too long, like a semester, it usually becomes boring a=
nd stale.

What works well is when one theme spawns another naturally and the teacher =
and students have an interest in exploring it on a deeper level.

It is just impossible to work a theme into every subject area. It becomes =
an exericise in foolishness and students know it.

Elementary classroom teachers would be more likely to use a thematic approa=
ch if narrower, more specific themes rather than broad, unbounded themes w=
ere developed. Recently we have heard the theme of =22systems=22 being dev=
eloped. This is just too broad and encompasses too much since everything w=
e do almost involves a system. Instead, it would be more realistic to defi=
ne what a system is and then decide on ONE that operates clearly in each su=
bject area (consider grade level). In the area of art, using the theme o=
f Color Systems could lead to an investigation of paint, or light, or the c=
olor system used in computers and easily move on to science.

BUT......HOW to develop themes that have meaningful potential for interdisc=
iplinary learning???????

Good Question=21

Maybe good themes could be found in individual class interests, current eve=
nts, and issues that effect all people

(like what?) human rights, cultural diversity, love and emotions, communi=
ty involvement, how we are alike and how we are different. Can art be a =
part of all of these ? Naturally.

May be it would be easier to decide on the art concept and then think about=
what larger theme that concept would=20

fit into. Sounds easier to us. For example: teaching landscape painting =
could fit into a larger theme of geographical regions and the larger theme =
would also include science and geography .'s time for spring break, have a great one=21


Linda and Mary


Tempe School District =233

=22Putting Kids First=22


Respond to this message.

  • Maybe reply: Mcracker: "Re: Curriculum Issues"
  • Maybe reply: Mark Alexander: "Re: Curriculum Issues"
  • Maybe reply: Rosa Juliusdottir: "Re: Curriculum Issues"