Teaching Themes Across The Curriculum

The first thing you have to do when designing your curriculum is decided thing the theme you’re going to structure it off of. Two of the major structure types are chronological and thematic. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. It really depends on the class and how you plan to use them. Social Studies classes are almost always taught chronologically. It makes sense when you think about it. Social Studies a lot of them time is just thought to be history. So of course when you’re thinking about history you think of it as the past chronologically, but that is not the best way to teach all Social Studies classes. In cases of American History classes chronological makes sense. In specialized specific historical class like American History, chronological to me makes the most sense. Chronological in these examples makes more sense because you would see directly how things built off of each other in sequence.

However, thematic to me makes more sense for classes like economics or even world history. Breaking down those topic would still make sense chronologically, but I think thematic would work better. You could structure them thematically, and then break the theme down chronologically. Both examples are expansive fields to where if you start chronologically without breaking it up more it would be to broad. However, if you broke it down into themes first it would make more sense. Learning in themes can be a great way to teach students. It can help them make connections they may have not made if it was taught chronologically. Overall both are great ways to teach. It just depends on the teacher and the class they’re teaching.