Innovation plan

Understanding by Design- Backwards Planning

My innovation plan has taken many shapes and forms recently as I continue to stretch myself to become a creator of significant learning environments.   I recently used Finks 3 column table (2003) to design a lesson connected to my innovation plan. This design was completely new to me, not necessarily bad or good.  I was learning this model and trying to apply it at the same time, which may have been the reason for me not favoring it so much. If I were to try for a round 2, I’m sure it would go more smoothly. In retrospect, I probably had a harder time trying to adapt to this design because it lacked the components that I like to consider when planning. Essential questions and desired results are pretty important to me when I am designing my lessons.

My district uses the backwards design model for planning instruction. Specifically for this task, I used Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design template. Although I am familiar with backwards design, this was still a bit challenging for me because I am keeping my BHAG in mind and want to stay true to my long term goal. This lesson will help me with my innovation plan because it still gives me an opportunity to grow small group learning during instructional time and allows students to produce at a higher level of thinking.

Stage 1 – Desired Results
Content Standard(s):

·                  5.3 Students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about theme and genre in different cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding

Understanding (s)/goals

Students will understand:

·                  How to create and develop videos demonstrating key concepts to help students with learning gaps with identifying theme

Essential Question(s):

How do readers use the information in the text to infer the moral lesson of a story?

Student objectives (outcomes):

Students will be able to:

  • Learners will be able to make a connection with reading strategies that are being modeled by the teacher/facilitator. (How to infer the author’s moral lesson/theme of a story)
  • Learners will design and create a video, still image/illustration/animation to reteach the objective and demonstrate understanding
  • Learners must communicate the steps needed to infer the theme of a story.
  • Learners will partner with one of their peers to provide feedback on their presentation.
  • Learners will develop a knowledge of resources/tools and will understand the functions and benefits of each tool.


Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Performance Task(s):

·                  Flipped classroom lecture, respond to questions about the process of inferring the theme of a text.

·                  Brainstorming, drafting, and scripting the learning process.

·                  Illustrating and creating visuals to support the information they wish to represent.

·                  Feedback/Peer Review

·                  1-suggestion

·                  1-compliment

·                  1-questions

·                  Maintain a learning journal or contribute to the classroom blog

Other Evidence:

Google slides, Explain Everything

Assessing their ability to communicate the learning process effectively

Formative feedback with Google Docs

Seesaw Journal entry

Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Learning Activities: (duration is 2-5 days)

·                  T will have students activate prior knowledge and access any information relating to the weekly learning objective.

·                  With the most current read aloud, students will discuss and practice looking for the text evidence to support their understanding of what they think the moral lesson of the story would be.

·                  Students will begin drafting their design and script the steps needed to infer the lesson of a story

·                  T will have students work with a partner for peer review/feedback on the progress of their video

·                  Students will record and design their projects, then submit the videos on YouTube before submitting their video on Google Classroom

·                  Students will also post their project on their learning journal and reflect on their learning process.


Fink, L.D. (2003) A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning.San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


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