Using a ‘Project Design Template’ to Develop Curriculum

Teachers in all Gorham, Maine schools now prepare at least one project using the design template that follows (which is still in draft form). “It’s meant to help teachers organize their classroom practice in ways we hope will result in increased understanding,” says John Newlin, a social studies teacher at Gorham High School who serves as a district coach to other teachers. The template uses the terms (such as “Enduring Issues” and Essential Questions) that Gorham teachers have been using for some time in their conversation about teaching and learning. It takes advantage of Maine’s newly drafted “Learning Results,” or content standards. And it asks teachers to construct ongoing and final assessments that include at least one of the “compulsory performances” of writing, speaking, and visual representation that Gorham requires of all its students from kindergarten through high school.

A teacher has filled out this helpful template to reflect a biography project on Martin Luther King, Jr.