Interdisciplinary Thematic Service Learning Units for Engaged Learning
Interdisciplinary Thematic Units are not only the backbone of middle school academics, they also drive much of the emotional and social aspects that make learning successful for early adolescents. Adding Service Learning to an interdisciplinary unit will make it even more successful and allow you and your students to use the people and organizations in your community to assist you with teaching and learning. Interdisciplinary Service Learning Units will have many previously-disengaged students deeply focused on learning. The following components make these units successful. Every one does not need to be included to make a unit effective, but the more that are included, the more effective for the students and teachers:
Teams should consider which level is the most effective for what they are trying to accomplish.
Level I: Least integrated; separate subjects in isolationLevel II: Material blended from disciplines within a subject area; not coordinated between subjects; possible common themesLevel III: Material kept in separate disciplines, but coordination of topics and common themesLevel IV: Few distinct discipline boundaries. Teacher teams working on one or more projects around a theme. Usually some team teaching in same room.Level V: Most integrated; no discipline boundaries.
Beverley Cush Evans
Associate Professor, Director of Special Education Division
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Explore this collection of Integrated Thematic Service Units created by Lesley Middle School graduate students, with topics ranging from revolutions to food production to elections and the immigration experience.