Curriculum Mapping

Why Use Curriculum Mapping?

  • Mapping curriculum enables teachers to assure that they allocate sufficient time to cover each standard and objective.
  • As teachers map out teaching units, cross-curricular connections become more evident and can be intentionally promoted. This enables students to develop real world application for concepts.
  • Curriculum maps provide the framework for building teaching units. Some standards and objectives are seasonal and must be taught during the appropriate time of the year. Other standards and objectives are developmental and must be built in sequentially throughout the year.
  • As teachers stand back and analyze a curriculum map, teaching strategies become clearer. The teacher is better able to create a balance between teacher-directed concepts and student-generated investigations.
  • Grade level planning, exploration tubs, learning centers, and creative drama centers can be correlated using curriculum maps. Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade standards and objectives have common themes, and teachers can benefit from sharing resources, correlating field trips, and building grade level libraries.
  • Curriculum mapping can also facilitate assessment planning. Periodic self-assessment and assessment using rubrics promotes awareness of strengths and areas for improvement. Students learn the language and process of setting, recording, and evaluating goals.
  • Mapping literature into learning centers promotes an environment that is rich with literacy materials. This provides students with the opportunity to read and write in social, collaborative settings. Well-designed classroom literacy centers significantly increase the number of children who choose to participate in literary activities for both pleasure and information.

Curriculum Maps and Unit Planning

As teachers begin mapping out curriculum, they find it helpful to participate in grade level planning, as well as correlating with the K-2 team. The following sample curriculum maps provide examples of how to break down big themes into "concept bits," thus enabling unit, weekly, and daily planning. Sample Unit Planning Sheets are provided to help with planning an integrated unit and to assist with integrating language, arts, and mathematics into other content areas. Teachers will determine which concepts to integrate and which ones to teach in isolation.

Refer to the K-2 Core Booklist for suggested titles for student reading on core topics. The Utah Education Network has a wonderful tool to help develop lesson plans and core teaching units.

Kindergarten Core Topics - View a sample of a Kindergarten Curriculum Map

Body Care
Food is fuel
Similarities and differences
Children change over time
Family Contributions
School helpers
Family and class rules
Community resources
Cultures and traditions - Music, dance, art, poetry, stories, acting
National Symbols
Five senses
Map and globe

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First Grade Core Topics - View a sample of a First Grade Curriculum Map

Personal hygiene
Nutritious foods
Helpful and harmful substances
Physical activity
Family contributions and changes over time
Tasks at home and school
Democratic processes
Choices and consequences
Changes in school and neighborhood over time
Technology in home, school, and community
National symbols
Plant growth
Seeds and how they travel
Uses of plants
Physical features surrounding home, school, and community
Map and globe
Size - relationship representations
Continents and oceans

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Second Grade Core Topics - View a sample of a Second Grade Curriculum Map

Balanced diet
Communicable and non-communicable diseases
Harmful effects of tobacco
Physical activity
Self-expression ideas, information, feelings
• Self Characteristics of healthy relationships
• Cooperating and sharing
• Choices and consequences
• Conflict resolution and problem solving
Family changes over time
Community changes over time
Goods, services, resources in community
Activities that promote public good
Positive and negative impact of media
Cultures and traditions - music, dance, art, poetry, stories, acting
Relationship between plants and animals
Life cycles of local plants and animals
Map and globe
Stories, acting


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Sample Curriculum Mapping Forms

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© 2003, Elementary CORE Academy, Utah State Board of Education, Utah State University. Artwork created by Nancy Bittner