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Creating a CBE, PBL unit and task using UbD as a guide

Creating a CBE, PBL unit and task using UbD as a guide

Author: Ashley Sweatt

In this lesson, you will use the UbD template to create a PBL unit and task

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Creating a CBE, PBL Unit and Task Using UbD as a Guide

Source: Image of boy writing, Public Domain,

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Hi. My name is Ashley, and today's lesson is titled Creating a CBE, PBL Unit and Task Using Understanding by Design as a Guide. In today's lesson, we will create a lesson that is aligned with the three stages of UbD. Understanding by Design, or UbD, is a tool in lesson designing that can be applied to any lesson development process, such as competency-based education or project-based learning.

Massachusetts continues to have high-performing students, and they also implement Understanding by Design in their curriculum. We will briefly summarize the UbD stages and how to apply it to the lesson, which will also reflect personalized learning.

In the first stage of UbD, it's important to identify desired results. In this stage, the teacher will determine what the student is supposed to learn with the development of the essential questions, which are open-ended that promote inquiry and investigation. This stage will also identify the knowledge and skills students should have as an understanding at the close of the lesson.

Stage two, determine acceptable evidence. In this stage, the teacher will decide on two assessments that will be used throughout the unit. There will be one main performance assessment and then other evidence to assess student achievement as it relates to the desired results. Other assessment examples are quizzes, tests, and worksheets; observations; homework; discussions; and journals, which will all be able to demonstrate student knowledge.

Stage three is the development of the learning plan. This is where learning activities are planned in order to meet the goals of the unit. Let's take a look at each stage a little more closely.

In stage one, we will identify the content standard and what students need to know. What will the students learn through this unit? This is also where you will create essential questions, or the big ideas. In my lesson, students will identify and know the meaning of most common prefixes and derivational suffixes. Here are my big ideas, my essential questions. Notice that these are open-ended questions.

How can I figure out the meaning of a word by identifying the prefix or suffix? How will I determine if a prefix or suffix is being used? These cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. Both questions would have to have some type of demonstration to go with it or a well-thought-out explanation to fully answer the question.

In stage two, we develop the assessments. Think about what you would like as your main performance assessment. How will your students be evaluated? What formative assessments will you use to gauge what they have learned throughout the unit? Also consider how students will be able to monitor their own progress and reflect on their learning. So as my main performance assessment, I will have students use their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to decode riddles to find a hidden object in the classroom or school building.

This is a problem-based learning activity. The problem is they must find the hidden object, but in order to do so, they must be able to successfully use their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes to be able to decode the riddles to find the object. Formative assessments students will complete throughout the unit will be sorts, whether they can sort between the different types of prefixes and suffixes, whiteboard responses. I would use this by putting something up when the smartboard or Promethean board and having students respond using their dry erase boards that they have in their desk.

Journals will be used, and students will have to apply their knowledge of the prefixes and suffixes in their journal writing. And homework assignments will also be used as a formative assessment.

Here, in the last stage, stage three, is where the teacher will develop learning activities. What activities will be used to help your students meet the objectives? What choices will you give your students? Here's a brief list of the activities I will use during my lesson on prefixes and suffixes.

The first one is a splat mat. All this is, is just a paper with different words on it, and this will be words that have prefixes and suffixes. And I would give a clue of the meaning, and students would have to use their mat or a chip or even just their hand to hit the word that I am explaining. Students will be given texts where they will have to identify prefixes and suffixes. Students will also have activities where they will choose the best prefix or suffix, and I will also provide games to reinforce their knowledge of prefixes and suffixes.

Students will have the choice on which activities they will complete. Therefore, if you look at my list, I only have a few. So I'll probably incorporate a few more to give students an adequate amount of activities to choose from.

Let's recap what we've learned in today's lesson. In today's lesson, we went through the three stages of Understanding by Design. The three stages are first identifying desired results, determining acceptable evidence, and developing the learning plan. We walked through a lesson using the three stages.

Now it's your turn to apply what you've learned in this video. The Additional Resources section will be super helpful. This section is designed to help you discover useful ways to apply what you've learned here. Each link includes a brief description, so you can easily target the resources you want.

Notes on "Creating a CBE, PBL Unit and Task Using UbD as a Guide"


(00:00 - 00:13) Introduction

(00:14 - 00:57) What Will You Learn Today?

(00:58 - 02:06) Three Stages of UbD

(02:07 - 02:59) Stage 1

(03:00 - 04:27) Stage 2

(04:28 - 05:39) Stage 3

(05:40 - 06:01) What Did You Learn Today?

(06:02 - 06:19) Reflection


Additional Resources