- Program Considerations
- Classroom Strategies
- Levels of ESL Literacy
Planning for Theme Teaching
The key to connecting, empowering and transforming learners is the selection of meaningful and relevant thematic units of study. A theme unit is a series of connected lessons, taught over a period of one to several weeks in order to achieve learning outcomes.
Theme units are effective because they are relevant to learners. If the theme is irrelevant, then it loses its key advantage: the ability to motivate learners. It may be difficult for an instructor to know what will be meaningful to learners before meeting them. However, certain thematic units are usually important.
Themes to consider
The following themes are usually relevant to the lives of learners. They encourage participation and provide opportunities for learners to be experts.
- Medical Care
- Children in Canada
- The Law
- Rights and Responsibilities
- Other Cultures
- Canadian History
- The Environment
Consider the program goals
Begin planning theme units by conducting a needs assessment of your learners.
- Who are they?
- What are their common needs?
- What do they want to learn?
- What do they need to be successful in their communities?
Decide on outcomes
- What do you want the learners to be able to do when the theme is introduced and as the theme is developed?
- What should the outcomes be?
- Outcomes may be specific to the program, or be taken from the Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000: ESL for Literacy Learners document or the ESL Literacy Curriculum Framework.
At the end of a theme unit, evaluate success
- Learners should reflect on their work and the progress they have made since the start of the new theme.
Theme Unit & Lesson Planning Guide (712 kB)
This tool contains a theme unit development guide, as well as theme unit and lesson planning templates. The purpose of this tool is to help instructors plan effective thematic units.A program purpose is a statement that describes the general intent and broad aims of a program. Effective programs have a clear and articulate purpose, which guides all aspects of program and curriculum development.