You are here

Parallel Curriculum Units for Science, Grades 6-12

Parallel Curriculum Units for Science, Grades 6-12

Edited by:
Additional resources:

November 2012 | 240 pages | Corwin
Based on the best-selling book The Parallel Curriculum, this professional development resource gives multifaceted examples of rigorous learning opportunities for secondary science students. The eight sample units revolve around genetics, the convergence of science and society, the integration of English and biology, and the periodic table.

The authors provide user-friendly methods for creating more thoughtful lessons and show how to differentiate them for the benefit of all students. Included are field-tested and standards-based strategies that guide students through:

- Exploring the nature of knowledge

- Discovering connections between science and other subjects

- Deepening science understanding according to their interests and abilities

- Connecting science learning to society through the study of genetics, historic events, literature, and chemistry.

Each unit includes subject matter background, a content framework, study components, teacher reflection activities, and sample lessons. Also available are online content tools such as handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and research activities. Breathe new life into science learning with this powerful guidebook written by master educators.

About the Editors
About the Contributors
Lindsey Asbury
1. Genetics: Our Past, Present, and Future: A Middle School Unit for Grades 6-8
Introduction to the Unit

Background to the Unit

Content Framework

Unit Components and Rationale

Unit Sequence, Description, and Teacher Reflection

Lesson 1.1: Preassessment and Unit Introduction (Dominant and Recessive Genes)

Lesson 1.2: Punnet Squares and Predicting Heredity

Lesson 1.3: DNA

Lesson 1.4: DNA Extraction Lab

Lesson 1.5: DNA Fingerprinting and Crime Lab Investigation

Lesson 1.6: Genetics and European History

Lesson 1.7: Genetics in Practice

Unit 1 Appendixes

Julie Martinek
2. The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: What's at Stake? The Convergence of Science and Society, Grade 6
Introduction to the Unit

Background to the Unit

Content Framework

Unit Assessments

Unit Sequence, Description, and Teacher Reflection

Lesson 2.1: Pretest: The Cause-and-Effect Relationship within a System

Lesson 2.2: Introduction to the Exxon Valdez Problem

Lesson 2.3: Setting Up the Stakeholders? Research Activities

Lesson 2.4: Prioritizing the Sites and Constructing a Persuasive Argument/Essay

Unit 2 Appendixes

Kristina J. Doubet
3. Systems: An Integrated Approach to Science and English Instruction, Grades 9-10
Introduction to the Unit

Background to the Unit

Content Framework

Lesson/Unit Assessments

Lesson Sequence and Teacher Reflection

Lesson3.1: An Introduction to Systems

Lesson 3.2 (English): The Pearl, Part 1 (Chapters 1-3)

Lesson 3.3 (Science): Introducing Cell Structure

Lesson 3.4 (English): The Pearl, Part 2 (Chapters 4-6)

Lesson 3.5 (Science): Movement in Cells

Unit 3 Appendixes

Fie Budzinsky
4. The Periodic Table: Getting to Know and Appreciate the Elements and Their Families, Grade 10
Background to the Unit

Content Framework

Overview of Key Lesson Ideas/Purposes

Lesson 4.1: The Elements: Getting to Know You

Lesson 4.2: The Elements: Up Close and Personal

Lesson 4.3: We Are Family!

Lesson 4.4: The Elements in Action

Lesson 4.5: Breaking News

Unit 4 Appendixes



“The parallel curriculum model provides a useful framework for creating lessons that are appropriate for all students. Applying it to science, the authors challenge students to think critically in all they do, synthesizing material within the STEM disciplines as well as reaching out to connect to the humanities. The teacher reflections offer relevant tips to maximize the effect of each aspect of the lesson. Most of all, the authors respect their students and their right to interact with challenging curriculum. I highly endorse these units for secondary students and am so excited with the challenge these units provide.”

Felicia A. Dixon, Professor Emerita of Psychology
Ball State University, Muncie, IN

"Dr. Leppien and her colleagues provide a user-friendly approach to motivating young people through meaningful scientific investigations. I am pleased to incorporate this text into my graduate courses in gifted education."

Thomas P. Hébert, Professor
The University of Georgia

"Teachers at various stages of professional development in curriculum design will find these materials powerful examples that will guide their growth and development and sharpen their skills."

Mary L. Slade, Professor
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

“President Obama stated that 'Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been' (2009). This statement speaks to an urgent call for young people to acquire increased scientific knowledge. This book addresses that need by providing carefully designed, highly engaging, and intellectually stimulating lessons."

Karen L. Westbert, Associate Professor
Univeristy of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN

Jann H. Leppien

Jann Leppien served as a gifted and talented coordinator in Montana prior to attending the University of Connecticut, where she earned her doctorate in gifted education and worked as a research assistant at the National Research Center for the Gifted and Talented. She has been a teacher for 24 years, spending 14 of those years working as a classroom teacher, enrichment specialist, and coordinator of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Montana. She is past president of the Montana Association for Gifted and Tal­ented Education. Currently, she is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Great Falls in Montana.... More About Author

Jeanne H. Purcell

Jeanne H. Purcell is the consultant to the Connecticut State Depart­ment of Education for gifted and talented education. She is also director of UConn Mentor Connection, a nationally recognized summer mentorship program for talented teenagers that is part of the NEAG Center for Talent Development at the University of Con­necticut. Prior to her work at the State Department of Connecticut, she was an administrator for Rocky Hill Public Schools (CT); a pro­gram specialist with the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, where she worked collaboratively with other researchers on national issues related to high-achieving young... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412965422