Are you a new Forensics teacher and need to whip together a curriculum map for your new course? Don’t stress! In this blog post, I will help you create a Forensic Science curriculum map in 3 easy steps.
Creating a curriculum map for a new course can be a daunting challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Often, teachers over-complicate the process, placing unwarranted stress on themselves. To ensure that this process is stress-free, begin by following these three easy steps to create a foundation for your new course. I’ve also created a grab-and-go template that will make the process of creating a curriculum map seamless. (Scroll down to get the free template.)
A quality curriculum map includes 3 components: the standards, the content, and the learning targets. Once you have these three components in place, you can bridge them together in a way that allows your curriculum to flow seamlessly from one topic to the next.
Want to skip the whole DIY process and just grab my editable Forensics curriculum map? Hop to the bottom of this post to grab my freebie.
Step 1: Identify your Standards
The most important part of creating a curriculum map is identifying your standards and building the course from here. Whether your district requires you to follow NGSS standards, your state standards, or a combination of both, you will need to start here. The standards are the cornerstone to creating a quality curriculum map.
First, print the standards that you will be using for your course. I used a template that I created to help me organize my standards since I built my Forensics course around both NGSS and Common Core standards. Make a list of all of these standards.
Step 2: List your Content Topics and Classify by Unit
After identifying and organizing your standards, you will then make a list of the topics that you will need to teach in your course. Your state standards often guide this process, but if you are using NGSS standards you may need to do some additional research. A wonderful place to get ideas about Forensics topics is in the Forensic Teacher Collaborative Facebook group. This group is made up of middle and high school Forensic Science teachers that are super helpful in guiding you if you get stuck in this step.
Once you have a list of your topics, you will need to align them to the standards that you listed in step 1.
Once this task is completed, you will be able to see common themes. These “themes” will become your units. For example, when I created my middle school and high school Forensics curriculum, I was able to group all of my content into 3 main units; Introduction to Forensics, Forensic Evidence, and Death and the Human Body
To organize the topics by unit, I use a color coding system. I assign each unit a highlighter color and work my way through each topic, assigning it a color according to the unit with which it best aligns.
Step 3: Add Learning Targets
Learning targets are essential to a quality Forensics curriculum that is student focused. A well-written learning target ensures that the teachers can explicitly teach and model the important performance criteria necessary for learning. Don’t skip this step- even if it’s not required by your district. Here is a verb chart that I created to help me create powerful learning targets for my middle and high school Forensics curriculums.
Well…there you go. How to Create a Forensic Science Curriculum Map in 3 Easy Steps! You are welcome to use my FORENSIC SCIENCE COURSE CURRICULUM MAP to use as a template. It is editable, so feel free to add, edit, change or modify to fit your needs.
Have questions about creating a Forensic Science course for middle or high school students? Feel free to email me at [email protected].