Unit Planning

Yokohama hasn't changed a BIT!
Yokohama hasn't changed a BIT! source: http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/ beato_places/image/image_det/44_Yokohama_FrBluff_det.jpg

This unit idea is something that I’d like to try later in the year after studying the Silk Road. Last year in G6 I felt that the Silk Road unit could have had more links to the world today, and this unit might be a good appendix to it. Also, YIS is in a very interesting, historic area of town and I’ve been wondering all year how I could incorporate some trips around the neighborhood into a project. I might have figured out a way to tie all that together using some tech which would be new to me in the classroom, particularly Google Maps.


I haven’t used a UBD template or approach to planning before. I found it really easy to think of ideas for each of the GRASPs sections (maybe I did it wrong?), and I would be interested in trying it again in the future.

3 thoughts on “Unit Planning

  1. Alex. Stop being so good. You’re making the rest of us look bad.

    Great topic. Very ToK with the difference perspectives angle! It might even be worth getting in contact with the Yokohama Tourist Office themselves to see if they might be interested in promoting some of the students’ work? Either way, what a great idea you’ve come up with and I’m really interested to see how it all plays out.

    I’m interested in how you would assess the topic, though? Is this just one project within and in the middle of a larger topic, or the final project of the topic? Do you have criteria for creating google maps from a previous assignment?

    Having taught Perry’s landings and the Meiji Restoration last year to the G9’s, I’ve been kicking myself I didn’t use the fact we’re actually in Yokohama more to deliver the topic. Even just thinking about it now has got my creative juices flowing about how I would teach it next time.

    1. Thanks, Adam – And good questions. Yeah… criteria. Hm. I’m thinking of actually doing this later this year so I’ll have more details eventually but I might as well try to answer your questions now:

      The scope what I’m thinking of is more like a Yokohama mini-unit consisting of formative historical background and one major project (tourist maps), as sort of an add-on to the Silk Road unit from earlier in the year.

      Criteria for assessment of the big project would be built around goals like: maps must include accurately located, illustrated entries on 5 things (architecture, shops, places of worship, etc.) in Yokohama that your group agrees represent foreign culture and 5 things that represent local culture, including a certain number of things from each student’s own cultural background. Each item highlighted on the maps would need a paragraph or two of explanatory text to show how and why the group decided on that item as culturally representative. As for criteria for the google maps – in practice I probably wouldn’t have separately assessed NETS or whatever tech criteria for creating the maps themselves, because I’d think they’d demonstrate all the skills they need just in addressing the content requirements.

      Let me know if you have any suggestions etc.!

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