Teacher Learning Community

Fall 2018 TLC: Connecting Key Ideas Across Content Areas - Activity 1 Anchor Resources

Course leader:

Teacher Quality Standards

  • QS I: Teachers demonstrate mastery of and pedagogical expertise in the content they teach.
    • Element B: Teachers develop and implement lessons that connect to a variety of content areas/disciplines and emphasize literacy and mathematical practices.

Concept-Based Teaching and Learning

Integrated instruction has long been touted as a highly effective way for students to deeply understand concepts. This activity is designed to help clarify the purpose of concept-based teaching and learning, which includes thematic instruction and big ideas, all rooted in academic standards. It is essential that teachers design learning experiences that connect key concepts and themes within other disciplines and content areas that is purposeful and meaningful, allowing students to make explicit interdisciplinary connections.  


This article gives some helpful tools and definitions to help us understand how to focus on central concepts in instruction. Scroll to the bottom to access a focused unit plan template. 


Grant Wiggins shares how big ideas are actually powerful ideas that can lead students to “uncover understandings.”


This archived set of documents from CDE houses academic standards graphic organizers for content areas and specific grade levels.  

This webpage houses Colorado Academic Standards for content and grades.