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Understanding By Design Unit Template

Title of Unit
Curriculum Area
Developed By

Suicide Awareness and Prevention

Emi Mack

Grade Level
Time Frame

90 minutes

Identify Desired Results (Stage 1)

Content Standards

Content Area: Reading, Writing, and Communicating

Standard: 1. Oral Expression and Listening
1. Effective speaking in formal and informal settings requires appropriate use of methods and audience awareness
2. Effective collaborative groups accomplish goals


Essential Questions

Overarching Understanding

Different individuals in specific scenarios have responsibility (or play

a different role) in regards to mental health and suicide prevention.

Related Misconceptions

Not everyone has a specific role to play in all situations, specifically

It is better to do nothing if you are unsure of the situation than to
misunderstand one.


What role can you play in

regards to suicide?
How does adapting to a new
role change my perspective of
a situation?
What choices can I make in
regards to suicide prevention
and awareness?
What resources are available to
my peers and me?

You should respond to situations relating to suicide the same way

every time.



Students will know

Students will be able to


What does it mean to adhere

to this role? (Facilitator, scribe,
researcher, presenter)
How does my role contribute to
the group?
What would happen if someone
did not do their role?

What to do in a given situation


How to apply that information to a different situation


The role everyone plays in suicide prevention and awareness

Recording of information

How a change in perspective can change the actions one takes


What it means to contribute to a group

Collaboration/Group participation

Assessment Evidence (Stage 2)

Performance Task Description

Collaborative Group Work and Importance of Role

Presentation/Written Documentation
Scribe Notes and Peer/Self Evaluations
Content Area: Reading, Writing, and Communicating

Standard: 1. Oral Expression and Listening

1. Effective speaking in formal and informal settings requires appropriate use of methods and
Standards audience awareness
2. Effective collaborative groups accomplish goals

Other Evidence

Accountability indicated by self and peer evaluations

Learning Plan (Stage 3)

Where are your students headed? Where
have they been? How will you make sure
the students know where they are going?
How will you hook students at the
beginning of the unit?

The purpose of this unit is to show students that they each have a role to play in
situations of suicide prevention and awareness. By giving students a role in this
group work they will be able to make the connection between the scenarios being
discussed and the role they each play while discussing them.

What events will help students experience

and explore the big idea and questions in
the unit? How will you equip them with
needed skills and knowledge?

Students will break into groups of four

Each student will be given one of four roles- Scribe, Researcher, Facilitator, and
Each role has a set of responsibilities

How will you cause students to reflect and

rethink? How will you guide them in
rehearsing, revising, and refining their

How will you help students to exhibit and

self-evaluate their growing skills,
knowledge, and understanding throughout
the unit?

Scribe- Writes down notes of the conversation

Researcher- using the webquest and other resources used this
weekend the researcher finds the facts to back up what the
groups ideas
Facilitator- Reads the scenario and moderates the conversation,
making sure everyone is contributing equally
Presenter- shares the information with the class

Each group is given a scenario and the group will begin discussing. (15 minutes)
Students will be required to include at least one source used from this unit to
support their standpoint.
Once the allotted time passes the presenter from each group will share their
findings. (5 minutes)
The groups will shift roles so everyone has a new role.
Students are given a new scenario and will discuss again.
This process repeats until all student have played all the roles (60 minutes)
The scribes will turn in their notes for the group
Each group member will evaluate themselves and each other to show participation.
(5 minutes)
At the end of class students will answer a journal prompt of guided questions about
the activity (10 minutes)

As each rotation occurs the instructor will encourage students to develop their own
way of performing the role, not doing exactly what the person before them did. Each
rotation will include a new scenario and each student performing a new role. This
invites the opportunity to change. Perhaps if a student who was the presenter read
the scribes notes in the last rotation the new presenter could summarize the points
Because the purpose of the unit is to show students their responsibility they will
need to see how their impact their actions. There is not a cookie cutter way to
address matters of suicide prevention and awareness. Students must do what allows
them to feel safe and comfortable.

The journal entry at the end of the lesson will be a time for students to connect the
activity and the purpose of the unit and to show their thinking.

How will you tailor and otherwise

personalize the learning plan to optimize
the engagement and effectiveness of ALL
students, without compromising the goals
of the unit?

How will you organize and sequence the

learning activities to optimize the
engagement and achievement of ALL

There will be students who will overtake the lesson when they facilitate, and there
will be those who do not want to present to the whole class. The purpose of rotating
the roles is one way to combat this. If a student is not strongly suited for a role they
will only be in it for one rotation. The peer/self evaluations serve as a form of
accountability for the whole group. Students will need to contribute equally to
receive full credit.
In a situation where a student cannot perform their role (i.e. cannot speak in front of
a class due to anxiety) an adaptation can be provided, such as that student
presenting the information to me alone or one other group.

Rotations and presentations to break up the lesson will provide students a break
from the activity, even for a moment, to keep them interested. The addition of new
roles and new scenarios will also provide this freshness to keep the lesson from
dragging on.

From: Wiggins, Grant and J. Mc Tighe. (1998). Understanding by Design, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
ISBN # 0-87120-313-8 (ppk)