The Alma instructional units are not to be used in isolation, but rather to be infused or integrated into the
adopted scope and sequence for your specific grade level. Units at the high school level can be integrated
into the recommended courses for a more in-depth, broader based scope of the topic. All Alma units can
be translated into Spanish upon request.
The framework for the instructional units was provided by Dr. Diane Paynter with the Denver-based Mid-
Continental Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL).
The individual lesson components contain the following:
- Content Knowledge :
The standard/benchmark information students should understand within a specified content domain and the skills or processes they should be able to do within that domain.
- Specifics :
Identification of relevant supporting knowledge that will help students understand the information.
- Instructional Strategies :
Any instructional strategy to be used by the teacher based on what students already know and how
students can make sense of the new information and the learning patterns and relationships.
- Preteaching :
Concepts or skills that may need review or introduction.
- Preliminary Lesson Preparation :
Concepts and/or skills that the teacher should reinforce before beginning.
- Student Activities :
The activities in which students will be involved and that will help them process new content knowledge.
They should be purposeful activities that are a means to an end, which is that students attain an
understanding of the information they are learning.
- Vocabulary :
Definitions and translations of specialized words and concepts in English and Spanish that may be unfamiliar
to the students and even to teachers are provided in this section. This is your opportunity to focus attention
on Vocabulary development and on the understanding of critical concepts you want the students to learn.
- Resources/Materials :
Required or suggested sources such as textbooks, audio and videotapes, guest speakers, lectures, field
trips, CDs and laser discs, software sources, newspapers, magazines, brochures, encyclopedias, trade
books and literature, charts, exhibits, TV programs, community Resources, murals, advertisements,
journals, and filmstrips to be used to provide students with information related to the identified content
- Performance Task :
A rigorous task that asks students to apply the content knowledge they have been learning within a highly
contextualized, real-world setting.
- Scoring Rubric :
A set of criteria that describes levels of expected performance or understanding that includes four levels
- Additional Evidence :
Pieces of any other assessments or evidence that can be used to determine the degree to which students
have mastered the identified knowledge.
Each lesson contains a set of key components listed below:
What will students be learning?
- Instructional Objectives
What will be done to help students learn this?
- Instructional Strategies
- Preteaching (optional)
- Preliminary Lesson Preparation (optional)
- Vocabulary (optional)
- Resources/materials for specific lesson
The Alma instructional units can be integrated into the regular course of study at a particular grade level
according to content Standards. Each unit is specific to either primary, intermediate, middle, or high
school. The basic premise for the integration of the Alma instructional units is that a more accurate, more
diversified perspective can be taught, given the content and resources to support a particular topic.
The instructional units are available on the Internet to teachers who wish to preview the study guides
and check out materials for integration into their curriculums.
Alma Project Resources
Alma Project Staff