Know Do Understand: KDU Model

The Know Do Understand (KDU) Model can provide an excellent starting point in planning learning experiences (lessons or units of instruction). Used as a simple initial planning structure, it can support planning with the end in mind (backwards planning). It allows you to consider the connection with and between areas of the curriculum. Think of it as a cycle – The big idea is what you want the students to ultimately understand as a result of their learning; The Know section is the curricular content… they need to know this in order to develop their understanding of the Big Idea; The DO section is what you want the students to be able to Do by the end of the unit (the skills they will practice throughout the Unit that help them learn the content and develop their understanding of the Big Idea(s)!) Wrapped around all of this are the Core Competencies.

In planning, you might even begin with a larger brainstorm to articulate and document your inspirations, ideas, possible resources, questions and ideas that might engage my students. After recording and honouring these initial connections, you might sit with the KDU diagram and the curriculum documents to select and align curriculum into a more cohesive learning plan. This might then allow you to create assignments and a pathway/series of lessons that align with the curriculum. This is a bit more of an holistic approach to planning with some aspects of backwards design incorporated into it… (Did I mention, there is NO ONE way to plan! Yvonne D)


The following short video tells a story of planning and provides a very brief overview of how you might consider using the Know Do Understand model in your planning.

TEMPLATE: KDU Planning Model_with CCs that can be used as you determine and align curriculum you will cover in your plan.

TEMPLATE: KDU Lesson Plan uses KDU as a structure to organize a complete lesson plan.

TEMPLATE SD43-New-Curriculum-Planning-Guide-Large a Unit Overview that follows a KDU structure and includes prompts in each section of the template to support you as you design your plan (including assessment plan)

Thanks Lexie (Peer mentor, 2021-22, for creating the video)

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