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Why Concepts? (Story)

By Ashley Weinard, Educator

Have you ever tried to collaborate and discovered you have a hard time finding common ground? Does your colleague across the hall speak a different language from yours? It turns out vocabulary is one of the most common obstacles to collaboration.

Big Picture Concepts are designed to help educators find commonality across the table and within the disciplines. Take a step back from the topics you teach day to day, and consider what abstract concepts encompass your information.

Fractions = part to whole, order

Weather = environment, variation, cycle, force

American Revolution = power, change, time, place

Neighborhoods = interdependence, environment, impact

Plot = communication, order, perspective, conflict

Yes, volcanoes and character development are radically different topics. However, they both have to do with change and adaptation. If you start the conversation with the concepts you share, it will be easier to find opportunities for co-teaching and collaborative planning.

NCMALearn lesson plans can be used as models for how to teach integrated content through concepts. In this lesson about North Carolina agriculture, students tackle the concepts of change, impact, perspective, and technology at once through a creative writing and art-making exercise.

Search NCMALearn to discover how all of the Big Picture concepts play out across the disciplines. You might find that your point of intersection lies in a work of art.