Yesterday, I started to plan my next unit and found myself not very excited. In previous years, I have taught the next set of standards in various ways, some with better results than others, but none that felt right for this year. The unit is on weather and creating a newscast with a weather segment, as I have done on and off for years, just does not feel right for this group of students. I sat with this realization for a while, and then a new idea came to me.
The importance of weather can be found in various events. Of course we see it on the news when a major weather event occurs but there are other reasons to know and understand the weather. As I contemplated how to make this unit relevant and interesting to the students, I thought about this idea of importance. Other than preparing for a weather event or your daily outfit, the weather may not seem important. However, the atmospheric conditions are critical for space launches.
Once this realization hit me, I knew I had to create a unit based on using weather to determine a rocket launch time and place. I am just in the early stages of this, and will certainly post more if it is as great as I hope, but I am excited to plan this unit!
Where do you find inspiration in unit planning? I would love to hear your strategies, too.