The Fourth Commitment

Design High-Quality Instructional Units

A thoughtful unit is much more than a series of activities. A thoughtful unit helps students build their knowledge and skills from the ground up through a well-designed instructional sequence. A thoughtful unit integrates tools and strategies that have been carefully selected to help students meet specific learning targets. And a thoughtful unit is a “home for the mind”: a place where students come to learn about themselves while they interact with others and engage with powerful ideas.

By synthesizing the preeminent instructional design models with our forty years of working with teachers, we have developed a simple and deep unit design model: The Five Episodes of Effective Instruction.

By committing to high-quality instructional design, we ensure deep learning and motivate all of our students to do their best work.