Thematic Units: Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages:

§      Connections

o     Helps students understand connections and how to connect

o     Draw connections from the real world

o     Makes connections through a common them

o     Focuses the Learner on the Mastery of Objectives/Overall Goals

o     Models for Students the Resources Used in Research

§       Variety within Learning

  o      Makes for well-rounded students (experienced many different ways of learning)
o       Keeps students engaged through making learning activities fun/variety

o     Teacher is able to be creative, authentic, and original (as well as the students)

o     Expands your Assessment Strategies

o     Can integrate all subjects and use literacy within those subjects

§       Classroom Culture

o     Students have choice in what they learn- topic choice

o     Utilizes Collaborative and Cooperative Learning

o     Share the same learning goals

o     Creates a community of learners

o     Not all teacher-student centered, this is student centered

§       Curriculum Advancements

o     Technology in the classroom

o     Compacts the curriculum

o     Integrates Word Processing Skills into Creative Activities

o       Time savers- teaching multiple subjects at one time


Disadvantages:

 

§       Interest Issues

o     Some students may lose interest

o     Student/Teacher could become bored with one theme

o     Not participate due to low motivation or interest

§       Content Issues

o     Students miss a day- may miss the connections

o     Finding enough resources/information to cover every aspect of the topic

o     Intertwining the benchmarks within that one topic may be difficult

o     Missing out on some content that could be covered

    o     Less organization for teacher (compared to basal program)- more work for the teacher
§       A Turn with Classroom Culture

o     With student choice- may cause arguments, unwilling to want to be involved because it wasn’t there first choice

o      Inaccessible to some students due to cultural, academic, or ability differences

§       Cultural- never experiences winter

§       Academic- lower level students having a hard time with concepts within that theme- but expected to connect

§         Ability- ESL students do not receive a variety of language practice- mostly how to use that language toward only one topic