Our TLLP Project

Inquiry in the split-grade classroom: Exploring how Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction engages young minds

L'enquête dans les classes a niveaux multiples: Une étude sur le Curriculum et l'Enseignement Reposant sur des Concepts éveille les jeunes esprits


Planning and teaching though an inquiry stance is an exciting and challenging task. Many teachers have shared that they do not have the confidence they would like to have in order to teach through inquiry, using concepts and Big Ideas to guide their planning. Inquiry-focused methods, like concept-based teaching, require teachers to use the framework provided by curriculum concepts and Big ideas to guide students towards deep understandings inductively. Concept-based Curriculum Instruction, a model designed by Dr. Lynn Erickson, is an inductive teaching model. The focus of this TLLP project is to create awareness of the pedagogy of Concept-based Curriculum Instruction and to support teachers with planning and teaching through an inquiry stance. Our project specifically models how to design a program within a French Immersion, primary, split-level classroom. However, we hope that you will see that it is a model that will be effective in any classroom —regardless of division, grade, split-class or language.

Our Focus

We designed an integrated unit using Concept-based Curriculum Instruction for a Grade 2 /3 French Immersion split-grade classroom in the Upper Grand District School Board, Guelph, Ontario.

Our Project

Our project consists of:

  • a collaboratively planned unit via our concept-based instruction planner
  • instructions for using our planner
  • examples of learning engagements and assessment in the classroom, including instructional videos

How can this help you?

The needs of the 21st century learner dictate a shift in the way that teachers engage with the curriculum. Learning to use big ideas and concepts as the structural components of unit planning ensures a meaningful and relevant program.

Our project will inspire teachers to think and plan conceptually.

It will also support teachers with the challenging task of planning for split-grade and/or French immersion classes.

We include resources, videos, and planners to guide new teachers through the process of planning with curriculum in mind.

Photos in this website

Throughout this website there are many photos of the activities for this project. Careful attention to the photos will reveal the use of the classroom environment as the third teacher, examples of how to introduce vocabulary, examples of students art activities that support conceptual understandings and some of the ways that environmental print helps to strengthen the French-language learning goals.