You can do it all (through integration)

It is a problem we have heard time and time again from elementary teachers, “I want to teach more science and social studies, but there just isn’t time to do it all.”  When we talk with teachers about this very real problem, our strongest recommendation is to transition to teaching the content areas through an integrated approach.  Unfortunately, though, we were never able to secure an example for teachers to see how this might be done.

Recognizing that teachers need an example to help guide them on what teaching from an integrative approach might look like, science and gifted/talented consultants Mandie Sanderman and Chelsie Byram teamed up with social studies consultant Keith Halverson to create a 3rd-grade example unit that not only incorporates 28% of the 3rd-grade science standards, but also 29% of the social studies standards as well as 15 ELA standards, and 6 math standard, along with universal constructs and social-emotional learning competencies.

After creating the unit, the writing team then sought out third-grade teachers that would be willing to not only pilot this unit but also provide their input and feedback into improving the unit.  Eight talented teachers were accepted to be on the pilot team and our gratitude is owed to:

  • Stephanie Brown, St. Paul’s Elementary (Waverly)
  • Anna Hemann, RRMR Elementary
  • Diedre Howe, Eldora-New Providence Elementary
  • Sandy Pleggenkuhle, Lincoln Elementary (Charles City)
  • Jordan Sheahan, Rock Run Elementary (Iowa Falls)
  • Sarah Thiesen, CAL Elementary 
  • Juli Weidemann, Rock Run Elementary (Iowa Falls)
  • Scott Williamson, Eldora-New Providence Elementary

With the completion of the pilot and the revisions made based on the recommendation of the pilot team, we are pleased to release the Survival, Trade, and Migration integrated unit for 3rd grade.  In the shared google folder, you will find both the teacher and student editions as well as any supporting materials needed to implement this seven-week unit. 

In the fall, we hope to also offer professional learning to assist with implementing the unit, so stay tuned!!  While we know teaching today can feel overwhelming, we are happy to share this unit with you to help you see that you can do it all, and we are here to support you!

Flier directing the reader to the google folder found at: