Curriculum Mapping

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In 2021, the teachers of Patoka School started a curriculum mapping initiative.   The teachers collaborate in grade level teams sharing what is currently being taught and comparing to state and national standards.  The long term goal will be to create maps with common standards, essential questions, content, and skills. 

Curriculum Mapping benefits all of the students, teachers, and parents.  Below are just a few of the positive ways it impacts the school community.

Horizontal Alignment – teachers at each grade level collaborate to ensure they are teaching the same content and skills.

Vertical Alignment – teachers Kindergarten through 12th grade collaborate to have a fluid curriculum from one grade to another. Teachers review and revise all maps looking for gaps and redundancies.

Cross Disciplinary – academic, physical education, music, and technology teachers at each grade collaborate on shared content and skills.

Meeting Standards – teachers compare what they are teaching to the Illinois State Standards to make sure what they are teaching is age appropriate and aligned with state expectations.

Curriculum Maps contain standards, essential questions, content, skills, assessment, resources, and technology.


  • Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards
  • Illinois State Standards
  • National Standards for Business Education
  • National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences
  • The Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR) Career Cluster Content Standards

Essential Questions

  • Overarching questions that provide focus for the unit and are aligned to the big ideas, concepts, or themes.
  • Guide instruction.
  • Focus on “why is this important”.
  • Encourage higher level thinking.
  • Help students make connections beyond content being studied.
  • Ex: How do natural hazards impact humans?


  • Subject matter key concepts, targeted facts, and core content.
  • Content needed to teach so students can respond to essential question.
  • Ex: Natural Hazards


  • What students need to know or be able to do in order to demonstrate mastery or understanding of the content.
  • Ex: Discuss the causes and effects of natural hazards


  • Summative products and performances that are demonstrations of learning and are observable evidence of competence.
  • Focus on learning of essential questions.
  • Ex: Whole group discussion and Natural Hazard Flipbook


  • All major materials used.
  • Ex: Delta Science Kit (2011)


  • Technology equipment and resources incorporated into unit.
  • Ex: iPads, Computer, Elmo, SMART Board, YouTube

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