Unpacking Standards – Revisited

Unpacking Standards
Gary Houchens/Tom Stewart
The Protocol
1. Using the combined curriculum document, review the standard.
– Locate one standard (all of the related Program of Studies Understandings,
Program of Studies Skills and Concepts, and Core Content for
– Read this standard from top left to bottom right.
2. Identify distinct concepts.
– Highlight common words or phrases that appear in two or more columns.
– Highlight words or phrases that express the same idea as those you
previously highlighted.
– Give this concept a name. (It may already be named in the combined
curriculum document.)
– Identify in writing what students need to know about the named concept.
3. Transform the distinct concept into a learning target.
– Look for a verb that will allow students to demonstrate their mastery of
the concept.
– Using that verb, articulate a learning target in student-friendly language
that expresses the distinct concept.
– Loop back to step 2, looking for other embedded concepts.
*Repeat steps 2 and 3 until there are no more distinct concepts to identify.
4. Sequence the learning targets and examine interconnections to form a learning
5. Check learning targets against the combined curriculum document, concluding with
– Revise as necessary.