Universal Themes and also Generalizations

Universal Themes falls under the classification of acceleration for door Standards, pushing students over and past the core content.

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Universal themes and generalizations are tools used to aid build versatile thinking, make connections across broad, watch unrelated things, and create a framework for providing proof to assistance thinking.

What is a universal Theme?

A universal layout is one organizing concept that transcends time and place, and brings focus to learning throughout subject areas.


Teaching v universal themes is an extremely different from traditional thematic teaching. With timeless thematic teaching, the teacher does all the cognitive work. The or she selects the theme, for example- Oceans, and likewise makes the connections in between that theme and all its contents (whales, fish, maritime plants, etc). The students yes, really don’t have to do lot other than learn the content.

When teaching with universal themes or concepts, student are provided a theme and also what appear to it is in unrelated ideas. Students are compelled to research those id

eas closely and determine exactly how the concepts relate to the theme.



In this example, the template is Relationships. Students must make connections in between Relationships and also and the subject writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.

We check out relationships in mathematics in fractions, decimals, and percents; in science in chemistry reactions or the relationship in between preditor and prey; in creating in the relationship in between word use and influence on reader or the relationship in between a writer’s effort and also the final product; and in history… relationship abound!

Starting the Year with Universal Themes

So, you’ve been offered a universal theme for the year, yet how do you gain started? together an educator, it’s important for you to think thematically. An obstacle yourself to explore the theme, so girlfriend are far better prepared to lead her students in their journey. You deserve to find an ext prompts for reasoning thematically for each universal theme on their distinct pages. Here- Universal Themes throughout the Year.



I constantly introduce the universal template on the very first day of school. This is the template that we would examine through the year. We work-related together to define the theme in our own words prior to seeking the expert definition (dictionary). The only homework that night (yes, homework ~ above the very first night) was to prove with proof the global theme. In the instance on the left, our universal layout was Systems.

I deliberately avoid providing a many structure because that this homework assignment, due to the fact that I want the students come feel complimentary to be an imaginative in demonstrating your understanding.

Students re-superstructure their proof with the course on the adhering to day. Return the skies is the limit with what students can do, that first homework assignment an ext often than not, is an evident example with photo (either attracted or pulled from the computer) and also a created explanation.

This is due to the fact that that for many of them, this format drops within your comfort level and also is likewise what they believe we together teachers suppose from them. Fortunately, a few brave students will do something the is completely out the the box.

The out of the box instances are truly powerful because they show to the various other students that creativity and also out of the box thinking are welcome and celebrated. After students have actually a grasp on the theme, have them relocate on to proving generalizations about the theme.




A generalization is a statement constructed on a universal theme andcan it is in proven to be true most of the time. Generalizations are ideas and also deeper understandings that give definition to a concept. They are overarching explanation that call for high cognitive demand.

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Just favor universal themes, this transcend time and place and also can be used across scholastic disciplines.Both global themes and also generalizations need students to employ complex thinking. This is in comparison to straightforward acquisition of facts and also details around a concept.

Sample Generalizations- Systems:

Systems have parts that work to finish a task

Systems space composed that sub-systems 

Part the systems room interdependent top top one an additional and form symbiotic relationships