New Haven Public School teachers in conjunction with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute have produced curriculum units for use in elementary, middle and secondary school classes for almost 25 years. Recently, several teachers from Beecher School have compiled a Reference List to curriculum units recommended for elementary school classes. At the same time, it seemed that such a resource for secondary school teachers would be equally valuable.
In compiling a list of curriculum units with a brief summary of each and a list of curriculum elements that supported both state assessments and the district literacy initiative, the goal was to provide a format for reviewing unit content in the most efficient way possible. The most challenging part of this project was categorizing units according to discipline and topic. Nearly every unit has an interdisciplinary element; therefore, it is most useful to browse the Reference List as a whole at one’s leisure. In addition, in order to complete the List within a reasonable time frame, only curriculum units designated for use in secondary classes were reviewed. Curriculum units designed for middle and elementary school classes may also be adapted to accommodate secondary curriculum objectives.
The units have been organized in a table according to discipline, then categorized according to subjects within each discipline. Lastly, the units are listed under each subject according to date of publication. This method of organization serves two purposes. First, it provides a companion to searching for the complete units online (which are indexed in chronological order) and second, it highlights the most recent units, which provide more direct connections to current curriculum standards. All the curriculum units, however, share the impressive elements of creativity, interdisciplinary connections, student-centered goals and objectives, and extensive research and background on a wide variety of topics.
Preparation of this document has been funded by a mini-grant through the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Special thanks are given to Hill Regional Career High School for providing unlimited access to its Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Center throughout summer 2000. In preparing this List, I found great ideas for teaching history, math, physics, biology, and literature. The experience was valuable for me, and I hope produced a valuable resource for secondary school teachers as well.