Before reading this, be sure to check out my post on course planning using Dr. D Fink’s 3 Table Column for course planning, which uses a macro approach to achieve course learning goals. This course planning method, the Understanding by Design (UbD) 2.0 method approaches course planning in a micro design. You can also find a comparison of the 3 Column Table Vs Understanding by Design on my site as well. Below you will see the UbD course planning for a world geography unit. The UbD method is helpful in setting big goals and working backwards to narrowing down how it will be effectively delivered to students. I hope you will enjoy!


To better view the table formatting of this doc, follow this link.

World Geography Unit 1: The Geographer’s Eye UbD Template 2.0

Stage 1 Desired Results

BHAG: Learners will be able to explain how physical geography shapes human geography to create unique, foreign cultures; identify cultural differences and their biases; and be better able to understand and befriend culturally different people.
Lesson: Learners will be able to use spatial analysis to determine why humans migrate, identify unique cultural differences, and reflect on their own unique circumstances

Students will be able to independently use their learning to…

  • Navigate a map
  • Explain human/environment concepts
  • Compare and contrast locations using spatial analysis
  • Explain why people move

Students will understand that…

  • Geographers use spatial analysis to analyze people and places
  • Longitude and latitude are used to locate exact places
  • People move because of push/pull factors
  • Locations effect people’s cultural backgrounds and experiences

What is spatial analysis? 

How can people use spatial analysis in their lives every day?

Why do people move?

How can place influence a person?

Students will know…

  • Geography is the study of people and places
  • Longitude and latitude can be used to locate exact places
  • People move for different reasons
  • The environment can shape people and cultures
Students will be skilled at…

  • Locating and interpreting a map key
  • Using Longitude and Latitude to locate places
  • Using spatial analysis to compare places
  • Identifying cultural differences between locations
Stage 2 – Evidence
Evaluative Criteria Assessment Evidence
Spatial Analysis Project PERFORMANCE TASK(S):

  • Homework Check- Residency data collections of 5 family/friends of student
  • Checkpoint 1: Use Longitude and Latitude to map residency locations & Reflection
  • Checkpoint 2: Use of Longitude and Latitude of partners’ residency & Reflection
  • Checkpoint 3: Summary and Reflection
<type here> OTHER EVIDENCE:

<type here>

Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction

Pre Lesson – Project Introduction, Description, Expectations, and Homework Assignment

Teacher will introduce the project and explain why we are doing it. The students will be instructed to collect residency data of 5 family members/friends of different age groups. Students may use fictitious pop icons for some data, but must connect with some living family/friends. Data will consist of:

Name and Age
Current Residency & short description
Past Residency and short description
Reason for Moving
One thing that they miss or took with them from a previous residency

Day 1 – Students will present homework to teacher. Students that do not do homework will be marked, but given the opportunity to choose from a pre-selected list of pop icons to map their residencies. Students will map residencies on a variety of maps using longitude and latitude. After mapping residencies, they will complete sentence stems

  • I chose the _______ map to map my family’s residences because…
  • Longitude and latitude are (easy/difficult) because…
  • The main reason why most of my family moved is…
  • One way residencies affected a family member is…

Day 2 – Students will work with 1-2 partners to copy and map their group members family info and residencies, discuss/review Day 1 sentence stems, and answer these sentence stems in conclusion:

  • I chose the ______ map to map our group’s residences because…
  • Longitude and latitude are used to…
  • One trend I noticed in why my groups’ family members moved is because…   This (similar/different) to why my family moved because…
  • The most interesting story I heard about a group members’ family member moving was…
  • I’m starting to think that people move because…

Day 3 – Start with a class discussion: review what spatial analysis is, and have students share how and why geographers use it. Have students share how they can use spatial analysis in their lives. Have students share some of the stories they have heard from group members, focusing on some of the unique cultural differences they have heard and why people are moving. Ask students about identifying trends within their groups information, what have they found? How does place influence a person? After the discussion have students individually complete the sentence stems in their journal:

(Pull out students who seem to be struggling with these concepts and clarify/verify/allow additional questions and time)

  • In this project we used spatial analysis to…
  • I can use spatial analysis in my everyday life by…
  • After completing this project, I found that people move because…
  • If I were to move one characteristic I would take from living here would be…
  • If someone moved here with a unique characteristic from another culture I would…

——-Personal Reflection———-

  • Overall, I thought this project was _________ because…
  • One thing I learned while doing this project was…
  • This project could be better if…
  • One thing I would like to know more about is…

Have students turn in projects to be graded.




Wiggins, Grant & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


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Eddye. (2017). Tips Jitu developing design business in the internet. Found at: Accessed on 7/7/17.

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