41+ Sample Unit Plan Templates

What Is a Unit Plan?

When you need aid for specialized classroom discourse, the unit plan is your savior. Units are not simply a collection of everything written in the syllabus, lesson p


According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there were about 3.5 million full-time and part-time public school teachers in the school year 2017–2018.

Moreover, a 2017 survey reported that nearly 482,000 teachers were working in both private elementary and secondary schools.

Why Are Unit Plans Important?

Unit planning is important because it connects every competency, language standard, and skill altogether to form a united plan that benefits both students and instructors. Thus, teachers need not struggle in observing standards to teach students according to their level, knowledge, skills, etc. Also, a unit plan’s purpose includes mixing lesson plans to improve learning. Do not expect the unit plan to combine every idea in a disarranged manner because this is overall, an organized plan. Although a unit plan can take some time, planning, and effort, the results are superb.

Furthermore, unit plans are not only applicable to the school department. You can also combine ideas, standards, skills, and other aspects in a unified plan for other applications. For example, you might need effective unit plans for sports dance, electrostatics, digital citizenship, strategic assessment, or understanding by design. There is no need to limit the plan’s function as it might help you in other factors. Thus, unit plans are useful.

The Elements of a Unit Plan

From preschool, elementary, high school, to college, many teachers are strategizing on how to conduct lessons and units. In the US private and secondary schools alone, there were already 482,000 teachers working there as of 2017. That is, according to Statista. And when it comes to unit plans, teachers have different approaches and plans. But, there are common denominators when you check their unit plans too. And here are some examples of the common elements you often see in a standard unit plan:

Purpose: Every unit plan’s purpose must be identified first. And this purpose marks as the major reason why a unit plan is necessary in the first place.Topics: As there can be a lot to discuss in the classroom, be sure to specify the topics at hand, whether the subject comes from English, math, science, social studies, and more. Examples include the multiplication table, World War II, or the solar system.Concepts: What key concept should be observed in the unit plan? Such concepts refer to the facts that help unite the lessons in a unit. Examples include the Doppler effect and integrity.Skills to Develop: Of course, teaching involves more than just getting answers from every student. There are a set of skills that must be developed throughout the way. And developing such skills is the reason why pupils learn and grow.Goals and Planned Outcomes: What shall be the academic goals? And what outcomes do you desire? Note them down in the document. You can enumerate every goal and desired outcome. And that list marks as your basis when you need to remind yourself of how the outcome should turn out.Academic Standards: Recognize the applicable standards which relate to the subject areas. And every academic standard will be the reason why unit plans will work since not everything is made at random. Standards to be strictly followed are set.Cross-Curricular Connections: Ensure that everything noted in the unit plan is connected to the curriculum. And a tip is to adopt methods that keep the learning relevant to the overall unit. Or perhaps, you add significant ideas that link to the unit plans. Thus, the success rate for student understanding increases.Past Learning: Write the past learning ideas that are connected to the present learning. After that, adapt it further to future learning. In short, unit plans do not only deal with what to do in the present; the past and future are under analysis for studying.Student Understanding: Teachers should very well understand the students’ current understanding or knowledge before teaching anything. Maybe you assumed they know about particular topics, yet they were not introduced to those yet. And this is why following the syllabus does not always work. What students currently know could not be what you expected.Questions: Expect to create questions related to the daily lesson, current unit ideas or theme, and more. List the relevant questions under a questionnaire to make this process easier.Expectations: Set clear expectations of how students learn in the process. But do not expect too much if the unit plan has not been properly managed. Be realistic by observing considerations from your plan and the actual result. And create adjustments when necessary, to reach those expectations.Vocabulary: It is common for unit plans to indicate vocabulary to research and focus on. And the vocabulary must be exposed during the learning process for certain times.Proficiency Level: There is a need to determine the proficiency level in meeting the planned outcomes. Take this factor as your progress tracker if reaching the outcome is nearly there or taking slowly. Exert more effort and strategy if progress takes slowly.Overall Assessment: Assessment reports go hand in hand with unit plans. You shall assess before, during, and after the lessons and the entire unit. This evaluation helps you uncover insights and create wiser decisions for future purposes.

How to Create a Unit Plan

From the school year 2017–2018, around 3.5 million full-time and part-time public school teachers were recorded. And if such teachers wrongly created unit plans, imagine how messed up certain classes might become. That explains why any teacher would carefully plan every lesson and unit to ensure effectiveness in their work. So are you ready to find out how to design, layout, and structure the unit plan? Without further ado, here are the steps in creating a unit plan:

Step 1: Develop the Unit Vision

Do not head down to deciding the type of unit right away without a thorough understanding of your main goal for effective student learning. Start by identifying what students must know from the beginning to the end of the unit. Every goal should be achieved, and you can make that happen by recognizing the pros and cons of the unit’s purpose and destination. And are you going for the goals-based, thematic, or project-based unit? Note it down.

Step 2: Make the Summative Unit Assessment

Once you finish envisioning how the unit should turn out, proceed to form the summative unit assessment. Answer these questions: (1) What serves as justifiable evidence that pupils understood the unit’s goals? (2) What is your approach to student mastery measurement? (3) And will there be tests, assignments, or special projects afterward? Assess everything, and you will slowly identify the best strategic plans. More so, assessments outline how well a student performs every learning goal.

Step 3: Write the Learning Goals and Lesson Objectives

From your learning goals, translate them into lesson objectives. And in each objective, it should be measurable. Otherwise, there is no point in making plans that would not be possible. To organize all the objectives for the unit plan, decide how the sequence goes. Of course, sequencing is necessary to know which should happen first to last. A tip is to ensure the objectives build one another logically, so pupils accomplish the desired goal.

Step 4: Schedule the Plan

All objectives should be scheduled, especially when scheduling is an important process in the plan. You can always base on calendars to set the schedule. Similar to the process of sequencing objectives, outline what should happen first until last. It is wise for long-term plans to consider the possible events that would hinder teaching sessions like educational field trips, exam week, or school breaks. Make adjustments to the schedule but give some allowance at the same time. Do not expect all students to learn in just a minute or two.

Step 5: Track the Progress and Adjust if Needed

Follow what is stipulated in the curriculum, syllabus, or lesson plan but adjust while basing from the unit plan. It takes effort in sticking to the plan too. Most importantly, check the progress. Are the students doing well from the plan you laid out? Or is it making things worse so new solutions should happen? Evaluate carefully. Besides evaluations, you formulate wiser decisions anyway. So avoid thinking that knowing if there is progress or not is all it takes. Work on the adjustments as well.


How long does a unit plan take?

Most unit plans may take around two to three weeks. But it can be longer for some, especially with plenty of standards, desired outcomes, or skills to consider. All in all, unit planning can be done a few times per year. Even though it takes some considerable amount of time, the effects provided will be phenomenal.

What is the difference between a lesson plan and a unit plan?

A lesson plan focuses more on every specific lesson’s objectives, including how to plan the teaching process. Meanwhile, a unit plan details more than a lesson plan document. Unit planning looks at the bigger picture, which is why a unit can already include numerous lessons.

What are the parts of a lesson plan?

Generally, detailed lesson plans consist of five parts. They are as follows:

  • Objectives
  • Subject matter
  • Procedure
  • Evaluation
  • Assignment

Teaching is a mixture of the best teaching methods and practices. And that includes excellent unit plans that teachers use to guide students in learning. Indeed, the process can be daunting but focus on how worth it the results are, especially since you know so much about unit plans already. Just remember that teaching and learning is a continuous process, even outside of school. And as a teacher, it feels great to help any student’s intellect and growth shine. Make it happen by starting with a well-thought-out unit plan.