Developing a Curriculum Using Content-Based Instruction

Instructor: Jenifer Clay
Have you ever considered creating a curriculum using content-based instruction? If so, go no further. This lesson defines content-based instruction, discusses how key content areas are organized around a content-based instruction theme, and reviews a content-based instruction lesson example.

Developing a Curriculum Using Content-Based Instruction

As a teacher, you are always reflecting on how you can improve your classroom instruction. As you reflect on the past year, you keep reflecting back on your colleague Mrs. Mary. Mrs. Mary always has such well-developed and engaging curriculum. Her students are engaged and making learning connections while your students seem to struggle. So, you decide to ask Mrs. Mary what she is doing in her classroom. She tells you she creates her curriculum using content-based instruction.

Content-Based Instruction

So what is Content-Based Instruction (CBI)? CBI is strategically delivering information at right time and situation, compelling students to learn out of passion. The philosophy behind CBI is that when students are engaged with more content, it will promote intrinsic motivation.

Typically CBI uses learning centers on thematic units or theme cycles to integrate language-skills instruction and content information from social studies, science, arts, math, language, and so on. A learning center refers to designated areas of the classroom where students come together in small groups to work on given learning tasks.

The aim of learning centers is to use purposeful language to communicate essential and inspiring content. Thematic units are developed by transitioning between topics to provide content coherence and a conclusive task to complete the learning cycle.

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