Introduction-The Logic of Backward Design


A Social Studies Unit

Activity-Oriented Design

After Backward Design

A Geometry Unit

Textbook-Oriented Design

After Backward Design

UbD: Stages of Backward Design

1-Page Template

1-Page Template with Design Questions

Alignment: The Logic of Backward Design

Westward Expansion and Pioneer Life


Sample Design for a UbD Workshop

Developing a UbD Action Plan Using Backward Design

UbD Curriculum Framework: The Macro View

UbD Curriculum Map for Stage 1-U.S. History, Grade 7

Curriculum Alignment Through Assessment

The Six Facets of Understanding

UbD Design Standards

Frequently Asked Questions About Backward Design

Templates- 1-, 2- and 6-Page Versions with Samples

1-Page Template with Questions

1-Page Template

Science, Grades 5-8

Mathematics, High School

English, High School

Language Arts, Grades 3-5 (Gifted)

2-Page Template

Life Cycles-Interdisciplinary, Grade 2

History and Photography, Grade 4

Earth and Space Science, Grade 9

Modern U.S. History, Grades 11-12

6-Page Template

Nutrition, Grades 5-7

Stage 1-Desired Results: Design Tools and Samples

Backward Design: Stage 1

Stage 1-Key Design Elements with Prompts

Key Design Elements (web)

Key Design Elements

Nutrition, Grades 5-7

English, High School

Structure of Knowledge-Definitions of the Elements

U.S. History


Design Tool

A Big Idea ... (description)

Big Ideas Reflected Throughout Design

Big Ideas Manifested

Concepts-Transferable Big Ideas

From Topics to Big Ideas


Westward Expansion and Pioneer Life

Design Tool

Finding the Big Ideas in Skills

Persuasive Writing

Design Tool

Clarifying Content Priorities

Nutrition, Grades 5-7

Statistics, High School or College

Design Tool

Identifying Essential Questions and Understandings

Scientific Method


Design Tool with Prompts

Drafting a Design from Big Ideas




Design Tool

Concept Attainment for Essential Questions

Essential Questions-Samples

Essential Questions (description)

Types of Questions

Drafting Essential Questions

Reading and Literature

Writing, Listening, and Speaking

History and Geography

Government and Politics

Economics and Culture


Science and Chemistry


Visual and Performing Arts

World Languages

Physical Education and Health

Media and Technology


Essential Questions in Skill Areas

Statistics, Reading, and Athletics

Design Tool

Tips for Using Essential Questions

Concept Attainment for Framing Enduring Understandings

Enduring Understandings: Samples Arranged by Subject

From Goals or Topics to Enduring Understandings

Westward Expansion and Pioneer Life

Design Tool

Linking Big Ideas to Construct Enduring Understandings

Two Types of Enduring Understandings

An Enduring Understanding (description)

Tips on Framing Understandings

Anticipating Misunderstandings

From Skills and Ideas to Understandings

Knowledge and Skills (samples)

Unpacking Goals-Method 1

Language Arts


Design Tool

Unpacking Goals-Method 2

Visual Arts

Scientific Progress

Design Tool

Design Checklist-Stage 1

Draft Design for Review-Immigration, Grade 4

Draft Design with Comments-Immigration, Grade 4

Draft Design for Review-Strength Training, High School

Draft Design for Review-Measurement, Elementary School

Frequently Asked Questions About Stage 1

Big Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Essential Questions (visual)

Stage 2-Evidence: Design Tools and Samples

Backward Design: Stage 2

Stage 2: Key Design Elements (web with prompts)

Alignment: The Logic of Backward Design

Friendship, Elementary School


Design Tool with Prompts

Curricular Priorities and Assessment Methods

Collecting Diverse Evidence from Assessments

Sources of Assessment Evidence: Self-Assessment

Collecting Evidence from Various Assessment Types

Nutrition, Grades 5-7

Design Tool

Collecting Sufficient Evidence

Mathematics, Elementary School

Teacher Supervision

Collecting Acceptable and Sufficient Evidence

A Collection of Assessment Evidence

Nutrition, Grades 5-6

English, High School

Design Tool

What Does the Goal Imply for Assessment?

Visual Arts

Civil War, High School

Design Tool

The Six Facets of Understanding

Questioning for Understanding

Performance Task Ideas Based on the Six Facets of Understanding-Samples by Subject

Transforming Targeted Understandings into Possible Performances

U.S. History

Design Tool

Performance Verbs Based on the Six Facets of Understanding

Generating Assessment Ideas Using the Six Facets of Understanding



Design Tool

Brainstorming Assessment Ideas Using the Six Facets of Understanding


Design Tool

Characteristics of Performance Tasks

Performance Task Samples

Social Studies and Language Arts, Grades 4-5

Chemistry, Grades 11-12

Language Arts, Grades K-2

World Languages, Level 1

English, Grades 7-10

Language Arts and Social Studies, Grades 1-3

Mathematics, Grades 7-9

History; Geography, and Math, Grades 5-8

Art, Grades 4-7

Physical Education, High School

Constructing a Performance Task Scenario Using GRASPS


Social Studies

Design Tool

Possible Student Roles and Audiences

Possible Products and Performances

Assessment Task Blueprint


Design Tool

Checking for Validity- Virginia History (flawed)



Self-Test Assessment Ideas

Criterion-Based Performance List

Performance List for Graphic Display of Data

Holistic Rubric

Graphic Display of Data

Analytic-Trait Rubric

Graphic Display of Data

Identifying Important Performance Qualities

Naive vs. Sophisticated Understanding

Civil War


Design Tool

An Analytic Scoring Rubric with Two Basic Traits

Criteria and Rubric Ideas

An Analytic Rubric Frame

Descriptive Terms for Differences in Degree

Generic Rubric for Understanding

Adding Specific Indicators to Generic Trait Rubrics

Persuasive Writing

Tips for Designing Effective Scoring Tools

Check for Understanding

Rubric for a Civil War Reenactor (flawed)

Steps in Designing a Draft Performance Task

Generating Ideas for Performance Tasks

Pioneer Life

Scientific Method

Design Toots

Design Checklist-Stage 2

Frequently Asked Questions About Stage 2

Stage 3-Learning Plan: Design Tools and Samples

Backward Design: Stage 3

Stage 3: Key Design Elements


Considerations for the Learning Plan

Questions to Consider for W

Examples for W

Hooking and Holding Students-H

Equipping Students-E

Equipping Students for Performance

Historical Role-Play

Design Tool

Questions to Consider for R

Examples of R

Encouraging Self-Evaluation-E

Tailoring the Design for Diverse Learners-T

Organizing the Learning-0

Sequencing the Learning

Nutrition (list)

Design Tool (list)

Nutrition (calendar map)

Design Tool (calendar map)

Brainstorming Learning Using the Six Facets of Understanding



Design Tool

Three Types of Classroom Assessments

Informal Checks for Understanding

Assessing and Addressing Misunderstandings

Addressing Misunderstandings: Assessing for Learning

The Logic of Design vs. the Sequence of Teaching

Design Checklist-Stage 3

Frequently Asked Questions About Stage 3....

Peer Review

Design Standards

Peer Review Against Design Standards

Tips for Effective Peer Review

Getting Started with Peer Review

Individual Review Form

Group Review Form


What Is Exemplary Design for Learning?

Characteristics of the Best Learning Designs

Thinking About Understanding and Design

Thinking About Understanding Z54

Reflecting on the Backward Design Process

Reflecting on Backward Design-Version 2

An Exercise in Unpacking Content Standards

Thinking About Understanding

How Do We Know Understanding When We See It?

Observable Indicators of Teaching for Understanding

UbD Indicators of Success

Assessing Conditions for UbD Reform:

Force-Field Analysis

Assessing Staff: Ready? Willing? Able?

"Yes, but . . ." - Responding to Predictable Concerns

Action Planning

Taking Action

Characteristics of the Best Learning Designs

Observable Indicators of Teaching for Understanding

Process Sheets

Self-Assessment for UbD

Participant Self-Assessment-Part 1

Participant Self-Assessment-Part 2

The UbD Workshop Roadmap

Entry Points for the Design Process

Clarifying Understanding by Design

Connecting Big Ideas in UbD

Understanding by Design Tic-Tac-Toe

Give One, Get Many

UbD Comparisons

Assessing Your Understanding

Reflecting on UbD-Version 1

Reflecting on UbD-Version 2

Reflecting on UbD-Version 3

Synthesizing Activity

Action Planning

Taking Action





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