Rethinking Curriculum

Posted by Megan Smith on July 5, 2016 in 1 Planning, Uncategorized, Units

If you’re planning to take time to update (or overhaul) your curriculum, prep for teaching a new level for the first time, or add new units, the next few posts are for you!

updating world language curriculum

Can you relate? Change is hard  (and sometimes necessary) but the rewards can definitely be worth it! In order to grow I needed to let go of what wasn’t increasing my students’ proficiency and fill in gaps when my units were lacking. This is still a work in progress but the goal in sharing is to encourage you and inspire even better ideas!

Throughout the month of July, Kara and I will show a few units that we have been working on and walk through the following steps:

  • Finding a cultural focus for any generic unit topic
  • Making ACTFL’s 5 Cs the foundation for the unit
  • Identifying ways for students to investigate, participate and interact with the target culture
  • Deciding on the major unit goals

I have found that when I map out these four pieces, meaningful learning starts to happen. It’s no longer “covering” material or “building the plane as I’m flying it.” I know where I am going, my GPS is set, and I am ready for an adventure.

Are you working on new units or curriculum? What are your goals? What’s pushing you to change?

We now have a new membership site called that has lots units with lessons ready to go. Check out the free unit!



Click link to see the unit overview:

Exploring Birthdays

Celebrating Music

Investigating Street Art


5 comments for “Rethinking Curriculum”

  1. Michele Ramsey says:

    We start tomorrow working on our level 2 Spanish/French Curriculum. As team leaders my colleague and I are forcing the evolution of our curriculum to proficiency based units and assessments (not clear why it´s has to be forced). We will transfer the focus from the textbook to more Auth Res and CI. Gone are the days of a program that has no time for movies, music and games because there is ¨just too much grammar to cover¨, Our first unit revolves around review of level 1 in the context of Hispanic Heritage Month and highlighting famous people, (Thank You for the idea!) We can wait.

    1. Megan Smith says:

      Michele – This is awesome! I love how you value music and games as real ways to learn!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kathy Griffith says:

    I surely hope that you will allow us to peek inside your units! Seeing exactly what other teachers do is the biggest help to me. @Michele Ramsey— your unit for Spanish 2 looks AMAZING!

    1. Megan Smith says:

      I agree – seeing examples really helps! We’re going to start by showing the big picture for a few units but we’ll open up a full unit at the end to see more of the daily side of planning!

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