Lesson Planning with the Big 6 and Super 3

What ever framework or planning method you use, check your planning against the Big 6/Super 3 to understand what students are planning, doing, and reviewing.  Some of the more familiar approaches are: Understanding by Design, Madeline Hunter, and Standards-based. 

These are approaches and tools for teachers to effectively plan lessons or units of instruction.

The Big 6 defines and unpacks what students will do within any lesson, unit or assignment.

For example, let’s look at the tried, true and reliable Madeline Hunter instructional model.  When I started teaching in 1994, this was the model that I actively used to plan my English and library lessons.

The instructional model has seven components: 1) objectives, 2) standards, 3) anticipatory set, 4) teaching (input, modeling, checking for understanding), 5) guided practice/monitoring, 6) closure, and 7)independent practice  (“Madeline Cheek Hunter”).

Big 6/Super 3 - Plan/Task Definition and Information Seeking Strategies = Madeline Hunter - Anticipatory Set

Big 6/Super 3 - Do/Location and Access, Use of Information, Synthesis = Madeline Hunter - Guided Practice/Monitoring and Independent Practice

Big 6/Super 3 - Review/Evaluation = Madeline Hunter - Closure

Notice how much of the instructional model is about what teachers do to create conditions and opportunities to learn and how much is actually about what students are practicing.  Whatever your lesson planning, instructional framework, or design model, use the Big 6/Super 3 as a way to understand how much of the work of learning students are doing. And even more importantly, look at units of study, semester projects, or other long term planning to see the accumulation of information problem solving practice that students have over the course of a year or multiple years.

Designing effective and impactful instruction is a complex task! Use the Big 6 and Super 3 to help focus on the information problem solving skills that students need to succeed in school, work, and life.

Works Cited

Ascd. “Chapter 3. Standards-Based Curriculum and Assessment Design.” How Student Progress Monitoring Improves Instruction - Educational Leadership, www.ascd.org/publications/books/100043/chapters/Standards-Based_Curriculum_and_Assessment_Design.aspx.

Ascd. “Understanding by Design®.” How Student Progress Monitoring Improves Instruction - Educational Leadership, www.ascd.org/research-a-topic/understanding-by-design-resources.aspx.

Heflebower, Tammy, et al. A Teacher's Guide to Standards-Based Learning. Marzano Research, 2019.

“Madeline Cheek Hunter.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Oct. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeline_Cheek_Hunter.