Curriculum Mapping for Quality and for the 21st Century

When talking about Curriculum Mapping, Heidi Hayes Jacobs’ name usually comes up as the curriculum mapping guru.   Heidi Hayes Jacobs has a lot to offer us for advice on how to work through the process effectively.

The following are some coaching questions to review when looking at our own guides offered from her book Getting Results with Curriculum Mapping (p. 43).

Essential Questions:

  • What overarching question(s) will serve to guide instruction and to push students to higher levels of thinking?
  • What overarching questions might help students to link or connect a “big Idea” or topic to other concepts?
  • What is the Big Idea or broad topic you will be covering?
  • What are the major underlying concepts for your Big Idea?
  • What are the enabling skills or processes that will ensure mastery of the big Idea?
  • On what skills do you spend a significant amount of time?
Assessments (Culminating):
  • What would you accept as evidence that students understand the Big Idea?
  • What product or performance will the students produce?
  • Do the assessments allow students to demonstrate their learning or understanding in multiple ways?
  • As you consider skills, what practice activities would you use to help students learn the concept?
  • What specific support materials, books, field trips, videos, or Web sites do you use or incorporate in your teaching?


Constantly keep in mind as you curriculum map…. “We need to prepare students for THEIR future not OUR past.”
— Ian Jukes, Educator and Futuris


Please view this excellent Ted Talk by Heidi Hayes Jacobs—

Preparing our Students for 1982 by Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Question to think about:  What have you done to change your own instructional practices to meet the future needs of our students?  

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