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Understanding as developed in Understanding by Design


Understanding. as developed in 'Understanding by Design' created by. Kristen Lednum ... These questions seem to continuously be debated. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding as developed in Understanding by Design

Understandingas developed in Understanding by
  • created byKristen LednumEducation 589 Summer

  • What does it mean to understand? How
    can students show understanding? These
    questions seem to continuously be debated. In
    the Understanding by Design model, there has been
    developed a multifaceted view of what makes up a
    mature understanding, a six-sided view of the
    concept. The six facets are explanation,
    interpretation, application, perspective,
    empathy, and self-knowledge. They are most easily
    summarized by specifying the particular
    achievement each facet reflects.
  • In this presentation each facet will be
    defined from Wiggins and McTighes book,
    Understanding by Design as well as an explanation
    of how students exhibit each facet. Also
    incorporated into this presentation are examples
    of assessment tasks for each facet.

The Six Facets of Understanding
Select one of the following facets
Self Knowledge

Facet 1 Explanation
  • Definition
  • sophisticated and apt explanations and theories,
    which provide knowledgeable and justified
    accounts of events, actions, and ideas. (Wiggins
  • What does this mean?
  • A student who understands can explain. To
    explain is to provide thorough, supported, and
    justifiable evidence and argument. Student who
    are able to explain can make predictions, ask key
    questions, provide insights and identify the big

Evidence of Explanation
Evidence of Explanation
  • Supply and Demand
  • Grades 2-4
  • ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES 1. Students will be
    given a box of tokens with at least two different
    colors in it and asked to select any number of
    them from 1 to a handful. 2. Place a value on the
    tokens. (Make certain this is done AFTER students
    have already selected their tokens.) 3. Pull out
    an object students would desire to win and let
    the students know that they will only receive an
    "A" on this lesson if they own this selected item
    of which you happen to have EXACTLY one of. You
    will announce the bidding to be open at 10 and
    they may use their tokens to purchase the item.
    4. Continue auction until a student has paid a
    high price for this item and received it. Then
    pull out a large supply of the very same item
    just sold while announcing that you do just
    happen to have a few more of these items and
    you're willing to open the bidding at 1. 5. Write
    supply and demand on board. Ask the individual
    who bought the overpriced item to define what
    these terms mean to him in light of the
    experience he just had, explain why he was
    motivated to pay such a high price for it, and
    let us know if he would have paid so much had he
    known there were enough items to go around. 6.
    Guide students in a discussion which covers all
    objectives. (I found an effective lead-in to
    objective 6 is to ask the following "What if
    these tokens represented money and this was all
    the money you had available for two months?")
  • TYING IT ALL TOGETHER 1. Ask students to think
    of three items in their desks and to secretly set
    a price for each one of them on an index card
    which is folded so that it can stand upright on
    the desks. 2. Instruct students to then take out
    the items and place them by the appropriate
    "price tag" on their desks. 3. Invite students to
    go "shopping" and check out all the prices in the
    "store". 4. Have students explain examples of
    supply and demand using their three items.

Students are providing a supported explanation of
supply and demand.
Facet 2 Interpretation
  • Definition
  • interpretations, narratives, and translations
    that provide meaning. (Wiggins McTighe, 1998)
  • What does this mean?
  • A student who understands can interpret. To
    interpret is to tell meaningful stories that
    offer various translations providing background
    knowledge to ideas and events make it personal
    or accessible through images, anecdotes,
    analogies, and models.

Evidence of interpretation
Evidence of Interpretation
  • Grades 4-6
  • Science Processes  
  • Materials Each group of students (4-5 per group)
    will receive
  • Handouts with the nutritional labels from the
    packages. Recording ChartNutritional
  • Description of Activity 
  • Working in-groups of four or five, the students
    will receive the materials
  • Compare the nutritional information for each type
    of candy.
  • Organize the information from the four
    nutritional labels into one chart.
  • Interpret the nutritional value of this.

Students will interpret the nutritional value of
the Hersheys Kiss.
Facet 3 Application
  • Definition
  • ability to use knowledge effectively in new
    situations and diverse contexts. (Wiggins
    McTighe, 1998)
  • What does this mean?
  • A student who understands can apply effectively.
    Students use and adapt what is known in various
    contexts. Students are able to adjust as they

Evidence of Application
Evidence of Application
  • Comparing Cultures
  • Grade 2-5
  • RESOURCES/MATERIALS For this particular lesson,
    the teacher would need Shirley Climo's, The
    Egyptian Cinderella. Various versions of
    Cinderella from around the world.
    Cinderella, to the class. Have cooperative
    partners work together to list the differences of
    the book to the Disney Movie Cinderella.
  • Task Have the students either orally, or on
    paper, write their own version of a well-known
    story, adapting it to another culture.

Students are applying knowledge to a new
Facet 4 Perspective
  • Definition
  • critical and insightful points of veiw.
    (Wiggins McTighe,1998)
  • What does this mean?
  • A student who understands has perspective.
    Perspective is when a student can see and hear
    points of view through critical eyes and ears
    know the limits and the worth of an idea can see
    the big picture.

Evidence of Perspective
Evidence of Perspective
  • Good Apples
  • Grades 2-3
  • One apple for each student in the class (plus
    2-3 extra). The apples should be various sizes,
    shapes, and colors. With younger children it
    helps to choose apples with "distinguishing
    characteristics" such as leaves, scars, and small
    bruises. You will also need a sharp knife.
  • Tell the students we will be spending some time
    finding out about how people are the same and how
    they are different. Put the apples on a table in
    front of the class. Have each student in the
    class choose an apple. Tell them to get to know
    their apple real well. Suggest they notice their
    apple's special characteristics. Have them make
    up a story about their apple and tell it to a
    friend (modeling this step is helpful with
    younger students). Allow the students to share
    their stories with the rest of the class. Direct
    the students to return their apples to the table
    in front of the class. Mix the apples up and ask
    the students to come back and find their apple.
    When they return to their seats ask how they knew
    which apple was theirs (they will indicate things
    like color, size, shape, special features). Ask
    what this has to do with people. Make a list of
    how people are different. Discuss why this is
    important. Make a list of how people are the
    same. Discuss why this is important. The lists
    may be done in cooperative groups and then shared
    with the entire class.

Students are seeing in perspective as they see
and explain the connection between the apples and
Facet 5 Empathy
  • Definition
  • the ability to get inside another persons
    feelings and worldview. (Wiggins McTighe,1998)
  • What does this mean?
  • A student needs to empathize to understand. To
    empathize is to find value in anothers situation
    or idea assume that an odd idea may contain
    worthwhile insights see incomplete or incorrect
    elements of ideas explain misconceptions viewed
    by others.

Evidence of Empathy
Evidence of Empathy
  • Prejudice
  • Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks grades 3-5
  • Lesson Activities
  • Step 1 As the children are entering the class,
    have all the boys sit in the very back of class
    and the girls sit in the front of the class.
    After all the girls are seated, give them each a
    piece of candy and tell them that they get the
    candy because they are girls and tell the boys
    that they do not get the candy because they are
  • Step 2 After the candy is passed out to the
    girls announce to the class that every boy gets
    an automatic A for the day because they are boys
    and the girls do not get an automatic A because
    they are girls. (continue with other scenarios)
  • Step 3 Do a power point presentation on the lives
    of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks telling
    basic information about where they were born,
    what they did to make them famous, and how they
    overcame their prejudice to help people in the
  • Step 4 Ask the children how Martin Luther King
    Jr. and Rosa Parks overcame prejudice. Ask
    students to imagine they are either Martin Luther
    King or Rosa Parks. Have them write what Martin
    Luther King or Rosa Parks thoughts might have
    been during the times when they were being
    treated differently because of their race.

Students are empathizing with Martin Luther King
Jr. or Rosa Parks as they learn about the
prejudice they experienced.
Facet 6 Self-Knowledge
  • Definition
  • the wisdom to know ones ignorance and how ones
    patterns of thought and action inform as well as
    prejudice understanding. (Wiggins
  • What does this mean?
  • Self-Knowledge is the ability to perceive the
    personal style, prejudices and get beyond them
    recognize strengths and weaknesses question ones
    own ideas accept feedback from others. 

Evidence of Self-Knowledge
Evidence of Self-Knowledge
  • Help Save the Rainforest Web Quest
  • Third grade
  • Activities
  • Students will work cooperatively to complete the
    web quest. Students should self monitor their
    work using the rubrics included in the web quest.
    Each group member is responsible for their
    specific area as well as contributing to the
    final group project.

Students are demonstrating self-knowledge as they
complete the web quest by utilizing the rubrics
provided. The creator of the web quest included
grading rubrics as well as a self check
  • McTighe, J. and Wiggins, G. (1998).
    Understanding by Design. Association for
    Supervision and Curriculum Development Virginia.
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