Subject Area Resources
School / District Leader Resources
UbD Unit Template (version 2.0)
UbD Unit Template (version 1.0)
Program Mission & Transfer Goals (examples)
Learning Principles (examples)
Long-term Transfer Goals (examples)
Graphic – intersection of Common Core and Next Generation Standards
Essential Questions in Mathematics
100 Math Questions to Promote Inquiry and Strategic Thinking
Essential Questions for English/Language Arts
Overarching Understandings and Essential Questions for Communication
Essential Questions for Literary Themes
Essential Questions for World Languages
Essential Questions for Social Studies
Essential Questions for the Humanities
Next Generation Science Overarching EQs and Guiding Questions
Essential Questions & Understandings for Health/PE
Essential Questions and Understandings for the Arts
Transfer Goals and Overarching Essential Questions (Ramsey School District)
Overarching Essential Questions’ Posters (IS BEIJING)
Overarching Understandings and Essential Questions (New Jersey)
Habits of Mind – Understandings and Essential Questions
Essential Questions for EducatorsCOMMUNICATION Overarching Us and EQs
Blog Series on Performance Tasks click here
Writing Assessment Map (secondary)
Steps in Designing a Performance Task
Performance Task Review Criteria
LDC Templates and Task Samples (high school)
Technology Tools for Performance Tasks and Projects
Websites to support Performance Task Design
How Not to Kill UbD – by Design
Andy Greene – Leadership Resources
Teaching for Understanding article
West Windsor Middle School Indicators
Using Backward Design to Structure Classroom Observations
Observable Indicators – Teaching for Understanding
Observing Lesson Plans (Educational Leadership)
Essential Questions for Educators
Jay’s Presentation: ‘Macro’ Curriculum (Shanghai American School)
Shanghai American School MACRO Curriculum Videos
Study Guides – for use with book studies, workshops or courses.
Study Guide for Integrating Differentiated Instruction and Understanding by Design
The Balance Podcast with Caitlin Tucker: “Designing Learning”
The Tom Schimmer Podcast: “Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects”
The Backward Design Podcast with A.J. Juliani, “Everything You Need to Know About Backward Design and Curriculum Mapping 3.0”
Podcast: “Using Essential Questions to Uncover Content and Spark Thinking”
Pondering Education Podcast: “Teaching and Assessing Understanding”
The Evolution of Understanding by Design in Diverse Classrooms
Podcast: “An in-depth discussion of key ideas of the Understanding by Design® Framework”
Click on a link to download the handout from a workshop or Conference you attended.
5 IDEAS for Developing Real-World Thinking Skills – Educational Leadership
How To Provide Better Feedback Through Rubrics – Educational Leadership
Assessing Deeper Learning (ASCD)
Learning Loss – Are We Defining the Problem Correctly?
It’s Time for Curriculum Mapping 3.0 | Solution Tree Blog
8 Quick Formative Assessment Strategies to Check for Understanding – Edutopia
Instructional Shifts to Support Deep Learning – Educational Leadership
Deep Learning is Doable: Five Strategies for Supporting Deep Learning in Virtual Environments
Deep Learning Is Doable – INFOGRAPHIC
Seven Strategies for Supporting Student Learning in a Remote Environment
Eight Essential Principles for Improving Grading – Educational Leadership
Policy Paper Needed – An Assessment Overhaul
Three Key Questions on Measuring What Matters – Educational Leadership
Dispositions by Design – Educational Leadership
From Common Core to Curriculum- 5 Big Ideas
Blog Series on Performance Tasks click here
Observing Lesson Plans – Educational Leadership
- Backward Design and Theatrical Directing
- Backward Design for Forward Action
- Choosing APPS by Design
- Common Core Standards Require Nuanced, Multi-facted Analysis
- Cornerstone Tasks in Theater
- Cueing Thinking in the Classroom
- Did They Learn It?
- Differentiated Instruction and Educational Standards: Is Detente Possible?
- Do We Need an Assessment Overhaul?
- Examining the Teaching Life
- From Common Core Standards to Curriculum: Five Big Ideas
- Grading “Participation”
- Helping Teachers Understand Understanding
- How to Be An Education Troubleshooter
- How Not to Kill UbD – by Design
- LDC and UbD – Complementary Frameworks
- Making the Most of PLCs
- Meaningful Learning for All Students
- Measuring What Matters
- Middle Schoolers Go Global
- Moving Forward with UbD
- Performance-Based Assessment in the Classroom
- Put Understanding First
- The Role of Cornerstone Task in the Next Generation Theater Standards
- Seven Practices for Effective Learning
- Standards are Not Curriculum – Using UbD to Make the NGSS Come Alive
- Teaching for Understanding
- Teaching for Meaning and Understanding: A Summary of Underlying Theory and Research
- Teamwork on Assessments Creates Powerful Professional Development
- The Future of Assessment- A Comprehensive Assessment Systems
- Three Key Questions on Measuring Learning
- Three Lasting Lessons for Teachers from Grant Wiggins
- UbD and the Primary Years Program (PYP)
- UbD in a Nutshell
- UbD Research Base
- UbD Review Criteria for Textbooks
- What Happens Between Assessments
- Yes, but… (objections to UbD)
- You Can Teach for Meaning
A “Must Read” for all Educators!
Teaching for Meaningful Learning
Blogger, Jennifer Gonzalez, writes a cautionary article about the superficiality of “activity-oriented” units.
Neurologist and teacher, Dr. Judy Wills, discusses how UbD reflects insights about learning from neuroscience.
A summary of research on Transfer.
Research on Deeper Learning (a main goal of UbD)
Shaun Killion argues that Knowledge is a prerequisite to Understanding
- How to Teach for Deep Understanding: The Missing Step
Linda Darling-Hammond makes the case for expanded use of performance assessments.
Noam Chomsky discusses high-stakes testing.
A classic article by Grant Wiggins. Written in 1989, it is perhaps even more timely today.
A modern version of the same ideas by David Perkins
A soon-to-be classic article on “feedback” by Grant Wiggins
A thoughtful article by Grant Wiggins on grading and reporting.
Tom Guskey discusses notable obstacles to reform of grading practices.
Neurologist Judy Willis explains how video games provide insights into teaching.
A seminal article on the power of formative assessments.
A classic article on “big ideas” in mathematics.
Rick Stiggins distinguishes assessments OF learning from assessment FOR learning.
Marc Chun described the qualities of authentic performance tasks and how to teach toward them.
Conceptual understanding in mathematics – a blog by Grant Wiggins
A classic article about Transfer.
A Venture Capitalist Examines the Purpose of Education
Erik Mazur describes his Interactive Lecture method.
Teacher Ron Berger discusses how to discusses a culture of excellence through authentic, project-based learning.
An excellent summary of the 16 Habits of mind identified by Art Costa and Bena Kallick.
Discusses ways in which Understanding by Design can support programs for ELL.
Excellent article on the teaching of History in Colleges and High Schools.
Seven Principles of Effective Learning – David Perkins uses baseball as a metaphor.
A Research Study of Understanding by Design in Singapore
A teacher “shadows” a student for a day and reports on the experience. A must read for all educators!
A description of an action research study of classroom assessment practices in Donegal (PA) school district.
Free on-line courses are available in multiple disciplines and topics. The courses include videos, audio lectures, and notes given by professors at Harvard, Princeton and MIT, and may be accessed at:
- Recommended: Produced by the MA DOE in conjunction with a statewide curriculum project, this video describes the UbD design process. View MA UbD Videos
- A collection of UbD videos View Videos
- Jay discusses the Understanding by Design® framework View video
- Jay discusses “backward design” View video
- Jay and Judy Willis, MD discuss ideas from their new book View video
- Grant Wiggins presents an introduction to Understanding by Design® – Part 1 – View video – Part 2 – View video
- Short videos on the new Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units (ASCD 2011). In these videos, Jay and Grant discuss the changes to the UbD template and highlight some features of the new design guide.
- A short video introduction to Understanding by Design®. View video
- Understanding by Design® is introduced through commentary by teachers and administrators. View video
- Jay and Grant discuss Essential Questions. View video
- Podcast “Using Essential Questions to Uncover Content and Spark Thinking” Click to hear podcast
- High School Teachers reflect on their use of Understanding by Design View video
- Grant Wiggins on Formative Assessment and Character Development View video
- Jay’s keynote address on a Curriculum and Assessment system View video
- Jay McTighe talks with EL editor in chief Marge Scherer about the promises and challenges of the Common Core State Standards. View video
- Free video program from The Arts in Every Classroom Series – “Using UbD to Design Multi-Arts Curriculum Units” View video
- Jay discusses the challenges of trying to learn to surf. Humanities Essential Questions
- Jay sets a PR – 23 pullups – at 71 years of age. View video
- Jay discusses a transformative moment from his early teaching career. View video
- Just for fun – a UbD rap created by a teacher! View Video
• Video examples of teaching Argumentation in high school mathematics. View videos
• A video example of engaging teaching in a U.S. History course. U.S. History Video
Dr. David Perkins discusses “Understanding”
Harvard Physics professor Dr. Erik Mazur discusses his interactive lecture methods and teaching for understanding
An inspiring video about Project Based Learning from the founders of High Tech High
Ron Berger discusses “good work” through authentic learning
Dr. Rick Stiggins on classroom assessment
- Assessment Literacy
Dr. Dylan Wiliams offers an excellent video series on Formative Assessment
Dan Meyer’s classic Ted Talk
135 Videos on Student-Centered Discussions from the Teaching Channel
The New York City BOE offers an informative video that describes the use of Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) framework for teaching and assessing the Common Core Standards.
An excellent resource for teachers from PBS media. Click on the following link (free registration required):
Introductory video on Defined STEM, a resource for project-based learning.
Project based learning replaces lectures for an AP Government course
A short series of videos on the brain from NBC LEARN