Step 4: Identify Clarifying Objectives:

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  • Once you have decided on the focus, scope, and details of the unit you will go back to the standards you deconstructed and determine which clarifying objectives are best served by each unit. Select clarifying objectives to support each unit in order to ensure that instruction is focused on the teaching of the standards. It is important to be deliberate in your choices of clarifying objectives so your unit does not end up with all or almost all the objectives from the course in one unit. As you develop the units for the entire year ALL objectives will be included (as they should be repeated among the units) during the course.

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  • As you begin to align specific standards or clarifying objectives to each unit, ask yourself the following questions:
    • What relevant content standards or clarifying objectives will this unit address?
    • Have you ensured that you include objectives from across the social studies strands (History, Economics, Civics and Government, Geography, Culture), when possible?
    • Are there opportunities to integrate with other disciplines?

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  • Using the standards that you unpacked in step one, determine clarifying objectives that would be appropriate for your course.
  • You may also choose to review other content area standards at this time in order to help you integrate your units across the curriculum.
  • An example for you is below for an 8th grade course.

Yearly/Semester Unit Plan

Unit #
The Unit Title/Topic
List All Clarifying Objectives That Can Be Covered In Each Unit
The Conceptual Lens
Our Revolution, Our Reaction, Our Reform: Creating the Foundations of Our Legacy of Independence and Strength
Pre-Colonial through the Jeffersonian Era
This unit focuses on the unique character of the people of North Carolina, their varied needs and characteristics, and their evolution from a diverse collection of immigrants to a people unified in their allegiance to the State and a spirit of independence.
8.H.1.1, 8.H.1.2, 8.H.1.3, 8.H.1.4, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.2.2, 8.H.2.3, 8.H.3.4, 8.G.1.2, 8.E.1.1, 8.C&G.1.2, 8.C&G.1.4,
8.C.1.1, 8.C.1.2, 8.C.1.3
Conflict and Compromise
New Nation - People Divided - Nation Reborn
This unit focuses on the geographic, political, economic, and cultural conflicts that developed as the Nation expanded. Ultimately, issues of citizenship, federal power, and failed compromises led to increased tensions, sectionalism, and finally secession.
8.H.1.2, 8.H.1.3, 8.H.1.4, 8.H.1.5, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.2.2, 8.H.2.3, 8.G.1.1, 8.G.1.3, 8.E.1.1, 8.C&G.1.1, 8.C&G.1.2, 8.C&G.1.3, 8.C&G.1.4, 8.C&G.2.3, 8.C.1.1, 8.C.1.2, 8.C.1.3
Conflict and Compromise
More Money + More Power = More Problems
Progress – Problems - Reform
This unit asks, “What is the price of progress?” This unit will explore the complicated and sometimes divergent movements that both defined and challenged values and beliefs of various groups in America. Innovation and industrialization required the extraction of natural resources while the conservation movement led to the nation’s first National Parks. Robber-Barons accumulated the greatest concentration of wealth in the modern-era while the majority of the population lived in abject poverty. America became an imperialist nation while isolationist policies kept the nation out of expanding European conflicts. In short, social, economic, and political changes brought power and wealth to some, but difficulty and disenfranchisement to many more.
8.H.1.1, 8.H.1, 8.H.1.3, 8.H.1.4, 8.H.1.5, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.3.1, 8.H.3.2, 8.H.3.3, 8.H.3.4, 8.G.1.1, 8.E.1.1, 8.C&G.1.1, 8.C&G.1.4, 8.C&G.2.1, 8.C&G.2.2, 8.C&G.2.3, 8.C.1.3
Quality of Life
The US & Global Conflict
WWI - the 20s - the Depression - WWII
This unit focuses on the conflicts of the first half of the 20th century, their causes, and their implications both foreign and domestic. Growing nationalist sentiment and a distrust of foreign influence led to isolationist policies but ended in the United State’s involvement in two world wars. Political, economic, and personal spending practices intended to raise the standard of living for working class Americans ended in the greatest economic depression in American history.
8.H.1.1, 8.H.1.2, 8.H.1.3, 8.H.1.4, 8.H.1.5, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.2.2, 8.H.2.3, 8.H.3.2, 8.H.3.3, 8.H.3.4, 8.E.1.1, 8.E.1.2, 8.E.1.3, 8.C&G.1.3, 8.C&G.2.2, 8.C&G.2.3, 8.C.1.3
The Rise of the Superpowers
The Cold War, Space Race, & Tech Revolutions
This unit focuses on the decades following WWII and the political, economic, and cultural shifts that played out on both a domestic and a global scale. From the Red Scare to the Domino Theory and the Fall of the Wall, students explore the shifting balance of power and its impact on both American society and modernization in the developing world. Concurrently, students explore the ever-growing dependence on technological advancements from the Space Race to the Technological Revolution and the Digital Age.
8.H.1.3, 8.H.1.4, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.2.2, 8.H.2.3, 8.H.3.2, 8.H.3.4, 8.G.1.1, 8.E.1.1, 8.E.1.2, 8.E.1.3, 8.C&G.1.1, 8.C.1.1
Continuity and Change
Free to Be You and Me
Civil Rights
This unit will focus on the various groups of individuals that were a part of the civil rights movement in North Carolina from the 1940s – 1970s. Students will be presented with problems in equity pertaining to suffrage, education, employment, and treatment by society-at-large. Women, American Indians, and Blacks were oppressed despite written legislation that stated otherwise. This is why the citizens who were discriminated against, alongside other supportive residents took responsibility for their own rights and fought the persecution that a large part of society had placed on them.
8.H.1.3, 8.H.1.4, 8.H.2.1, 8.H.2.2, 8.H.2.3, 8.H.3.3, 8.H.3.4, 8.G.1.1, 8.G.1.3, 8.E.1.1, 8.C&G.1.1, 8.C&G.1.3, 8.C&G.1.4, 8.C&G.2.1, 8.C&G.2.2, 8.C&G.2.3, 8.C.1.3
Rights and Equality
North Carolina and the United States Today
This is the concluding unit to the 8th grade course. Prior to this unit, students have been exposed to the history of North Carolina and the United States starting in the Era of Colonization and continuing up to contemporary times. Students will explore how citizenship and the rights that accompany citizenship were extended to various groups at various times. Students will analyze and debate using primary sources, secondary sources and opinion through Socratic Seminars.
8.H.3.4, Varied depending upon teacher and student choice
Systems and Citizenship

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Step 1-->Step 2a-->Step 2b-->Step 3-->Step 4-->Step 5-->Step 6-->Step 7-->Step 8-->Step 9-->Step 10-->Step 11-->Step 12