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Running head: CURRICULUM

Content Knowledge in Interdisciplinary Curriculum

Tiffany Crisp

Regent University

In partial fulfillment of UED 495 Field Experience ePortfolio, Spring 2018


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Introduction

The following reflection outlines how content knowledge of the standards is intertwined

into interdisciplinary curriculum. With the use of the Standards of Learning (SOL’s) and the

Virginia Beach Objectives (VBO’s), I’ve integrated the social studies content into the

reading/writing curriculum standards. I believe combining two content areas together is an

important and effective teaching strategy that yields more instruction time for the teacher and

simultaneously deepens student comprehension. With that being said, the two artifacts that I

have chosen to use in this reflection are the Ancient Egypt lesson plan and the Nonfiction

Summary Frame worksheet. I selected these artifacts to exemplify the integration of varying

second grade curriculum.

Rational for Selection of Artifacts

Ancient Egypt Lesson Plan:

The first artifact I chose to highlight is the Ancient Egypt lesson plan created in

conjunction with the Virginia Beach curriculum template. The reason I picked this lesson plan as

an artifact is due to the clearly defined Social Studies and Language Arts standards incorporated

in the lesson. In addition to teaching on the content of Ancient Egypt and fulfilling the Social

Studies SOL 2.1 and the VBO’s SS.2.2- SS.2.2.3 about the Nile River, the lesson also

incorporates the VBO’s ELA.2.6.9- ELA.2.6.10a about identifying the main idea and using

summarization of a nonfiction text.

The lesson started with discussing how to find the most important details or a theme in a

text or group of items as an anticipatory set to get the students’ attention. Next, I transitioned into

a nonfiction reading of the benefits of the Nile River which informs the students about ancient

Egypt and fulfills the Social Studies objective/standard. I asked them to find the important details
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in the text we read and I helped them locate which details were important and which ones were

extra. After I guided the students through finding key details together, I instructed them to

summarize the passage with the most important details and to locate and write down the main

idea. The students completed the summarization and main idea portion on the graphic organizer

Nonfiction Summary Frame worksheet.

Nonfiction Summary Frame:

The second artifact I chose to use was the Nonfiction Summary Frame. I wanted to

highlight the Nonfiction Summary Frame worksheet as an artifact because it allowed the students

to take notes on the Ancient Egypt content, through pulling out the most important information,

while improving skills in summarization, locating the theme, and sorting out important and

nonessential details. This is an important activity because the students learn new social studies

curriculum and utilize text analyzing skills to work on proficiency in reading standards.

Reflection on Theory and Practice

In Regent University’s course, Curriculum Design and Assessment, I learned how to

create effective lesson plans and whole units plans based off of the state standards. Sara Powell,

author of Your Introduction to Teaching: Explorations in Teaching, believes that “standards help

organize and guide teaching and learning in the classroom” (Powell, 2012, p. 97). A teacher who

has a deep understanding of the standards and content material improves the students learning

abilities which will in turn give the students a more beneficial learning experience.

In addition to standard-based curricular lessons, integrating curriculum across subjects

has proven to be critical to a student’s retention of material. Powell compares integration of

curriculum in all subjects to a cloth. She says that the strength of the cloth—or the amount a

student can remember and apply—comes from weaving the multiple threads of information in
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different subjects so the “cloth” or their retention becomes larger (Powell, 2012, p. 103).

Essentially, the more teachers integrate the curriculum into all aspects of the day, the more the

students will understand and remember the material taught. (See image below of the “cloth”

example).

In agreement with Powell, Paula Rutherford, author of Instruction for All Students, adds that

teachers—especially Elementary teachers—find themselves “naturally building bridges”

between seamlessly unrelated subject areas (Rutherford, 2008, p. 48). Because I created a lesson

combining two subjects areas, the students practiced multiple identification skills while also

learning material about historical Egypt.

Conclusion

In conclusion, curriculum integration and an understanding of state standards is an

essential aspect to students learning effectively. By creating lessons based on combining multiple

subjects into an area of study, students will benefit and even thrive in their education. As a future

educator, it is my mission to use integrated curriculum to cater to my students’ learning needs

and increase their comprehension and retention of taught material.


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Artifact #1: Ancient Egypt Lesson Plan


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Artifact #2: Nonfiction Summary Frames


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References

Powell, S. D. (2012). Your Introduction to Education: Explorations in Teaching (Vol. 2). Upper

Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.

Rutherford, P. (2008). Instruction for All Students. Alexandria: Just ASK Publications &

Professional Development .