Unit Planning: tips, samples and templates

It is important to recognize that planning for teaching is not a matter of simply finding a template and ‘filling in boxes’. Developing an understanding of what makes an effective lesson or unit of study, knowing your students and context are more essential that filling all the boxes. Please ensure that whatever Unit Plan template you decide to use, you modify it to meet your needs and your specific cohort, subject area or context requirements.

You may wish to review the Know Do Understand model to help you align curriculum as a starting point in planning. A description and short video can be found on the KDU blog post.

NOTE: you will typically be required to develop a comprehensive Unit Overview for each Unit of study. In addition, you will design a learning pathway or sequence of lessons you intend to follow through the Unit in advance. I like to call it a ‘learning pathway’ to guide teaching and learning in the Unit. These are usually designed AFTER the overview of the unit so that you can consider how the learning pathway leads to student learning and success on assessments.

Below are a few samples. For additional samples & templates to support unit and lesson planning, please visit the Planning Templates posts on this blog (sorted by category).

Two Learning Path Templates:

Select Unit Overview Templates:

Universities (including UBC) have also developed some useful planning resources to support planning for BC curriculum:

Understanding by Design unit plans are well-suited to planning for learning in BC:

Inquiry based and cross-curricular Unit Planning:

This lovely illustrated example called “Humans and Wolves” shares the story of one teacher’s thinking as she planned an inquiry-based unit for her elementary school class.

The following were designed and shared by the BC Teacher Librarians Association (BCTLA):


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