Conference Countdown
Atlanta, Ga.
April 2-4, 2016
  • membership
  • my account
  • help

    We are here to help!

    1703 North Beauregard Street
    Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
    Tel: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723)
    Fax: 703-575-5400

    8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday

    Local to the D.C. area: 1-703-578-9600, press 2

    Toll-free from U.S. and Canada: 1-800-933-ASCD (2723), press 2

    All other countries: (International Access Code) + 1-703-578-9600, press 2


  • Log In
  • Forgot Password?


ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

2016 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Learn. Teach. Lead.
Get the tools to put it all together at this can't-miss education conference—with more than 200 sessions and five inspirational keynote speakers.

Learn more and register.



ASCD respects intellectual property rights and adheres to the laws governing them. Learn more about our permissions policy and submit your request online.

Policies and Requests

Translations Rights

Books in Translation

Sale Book (1996)
Purchase this book to read more.
Related Topics

How to Use Standards in the Classroom

by Douglas E. Harris, Judy F. Carr, Tim Flynn, Marge Petit and Susan Rigney

Table of Contents

Chapter 3. Designing Topics and Activities

Imagine that your district has recently adopted standards for student learning or your state has just published standards for your subject area. As you open the standards documents, you wonder “How do I make these standards part of my curriculum? What do they mean to me and my students? How will I know if my students have attained the standards?” Designing standards-based units of study is a process of answering these questions while creating a meaningful and rigorous classroom curriculum.

What Are Standards-Based Units of Study?

Standards-based units of study are designed with an explicit focus on standards. Cumulatively, the units ensure that all students can demonstrate the knowledge and skills identified by the standards. Standards-based units are significantly different from activity-based units (see Figure 3.1). For example, standards-based units of study build a clear relationship among at least seven components.

  1. Topic or essential question.
  2. The standards (taught and assessed within the unit).
  3. Tasks and activities (designed to teach and demonstrate knowledge and skills).
  4. Products and performances (the basis for assessment).
  5. Criteria for assessment (based on standards).
  6. Scoring guides (used to assess and communicate about student learning).
  7. Exemplars (collected over time to clarify expectations for student learning and aid in evaluating and revising the unit).


This book is not a member benefit, but sample chapters have been selected for your perusal.

To read further, purchase this book in the ASCD Online Store.


Log in to submit a comment.

To post a comment, please log in above. (You must be an ASCD EDge community member.) Free registration