Did you come up with a way to assess your unit? After you know what you plan to assess, now it is time to come up with some enduring understandings! What do you want students to take with them for life? Look hard at the unit and really evaluate it. What do they need to know to communicate in the target language in meaningful ways. This part of backward planning is what made me completely skip the “school supply” and “household chore” chapters! With the limited time I have to increase fluency, I did not see those as enduring understandings!!!
Choose 3-5 things you want your students to take away from your unit and never forget. So take my water unit, for instance…. Students will understand that access to clean water is more valuable than they realized. Students will use the TL to discuss ways that they can impact the lives of those where water is scarce. Students will connect what they know about water scarcity to poverty and illness in affected areas.
Of course we are learning more and more TL but my enduring understanding isn’t that they will be able to conjugate a verb. Maybe they’ll go on to careers in medicine, engineering, or to the mission field. Using the language is far more important to me than knowing about the language!
So today, what are your enduring understandings?