Whoa! A New Framework for Curriculum Design

How to Streamline and Storyboard Your Curriculum

In a recent presentation with Eduplanet21, Heidi Hayes Jacobs and I showed a Curriculum Storyboards example written by a fifth-grade teacher at Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

When I look at this example, my eye is immediately drawn to the visuals. I see the roller coaster and then my eye follows that up to the title, then the focus of the story.

I worked with the elementary science coordinator, Nancy, on the drafting and reiterating of this Curriculum Storyboard. After she wrote the elements of the first quarter, she pointed out that she had used the word, “Wee!” to begin the title. 

She asked me, “Allison, do you think I could get away with doing another one-word exclamation for the rest of them?” 

Not only did she do that, she only used words that begin with ‘W.’

That is one of the core things that jump out to me about this storyboard and the beauty of it is that it 100-percent caters to fifth-grade students. She thought through what would be compelling for her target audience and followed through with those expressions.

Additionally, she leveraged components that are in the day-to-day lives of these students. In the first quarter, she references roller coasters and F-18s. For students in Virginia Beach, F-18s are flying overhead on a regular basis. The local amusement park is a typical attraction, especially for elementary field trips.

All of this was a way for Nancy to engage her students with language and subject matter that was relevant to them, further drawing them into the content.

Curriculum Storyboards as a Framework

What this example also shows is Curriculum Storyboards as a framework.

The learning targets developed for this storyboard highlights key areas of emphasis both for teachers and for students and their families. It can serve as a blueprint for teachers to identify instructional resources that align with the targets. It can serve as a blueprint for students to monitor their own growth over time as it is deliberately written in student-friendly language.

It can serve as a touch point for families as they can use as an anchor with conferences and standards-based grading.

To dig deeper with Curriculum Storyboards, read more about ways to engage us.

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