Model Curriculum

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) Model Curriculum Units consist of a unit overview, lesson plans, embedded performance assessments, and ideas for instructional resources. The design teams used Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011) to structure the units. There are six units for grades 7–8, and there are nine units for grades 9–12. Some of the units have linked videos of teachers who have taught these units in their classrooms. The site includes the quality review rubrics that the state used to review the model units, which districts could use to evaluate their own units. In the case of secondary English language arts, the quality review rubric is the EQuIP rubric. At the time of this review, there are four testimonials from districts or schools that have enacted the model units in classrooms. 

Content Comments 

The Model Curriculum Units and their associated resources might be helpful for district curriculum leaders, school-based instructional coaches, and teachers. Teachers might be especially interested in the suggestions for instruction, assessment, and resources.  The units use Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011) as a guiding structure, which may be unfamiliar to some practitioners. However, practitioners will still likely find the information and guidance to be useful.