8 Free Unit Guides for Planning Your Middle School Science Curriculum

We’ve reached the point in summer when many teachers start thinking about instructional plans for the upcoming school year. If you’re a first-year teacher, you may have already started looking into lesson planning resources and collecting educational activities to use with your students this year! As you prepare for your classroom filled with middle school students, I highly recommend using free unit guides for science when planning your middle school science curriculum.

Let’s talk about it!

As all classroom teachers know, lesson planning isn’t always straightforward and easy. Sure, you can probably throw together a day’s worth of activities with content objectives, some vocabulary terms, and maybe a science demonstration or two, but will this lesson actually be impactful?

Well, it depends. A truly comprehensive lesson will build upon previous instruction and will lay the foundation for upcoming content. There is cohesion and consistency from one day to the next. This is where science unit guides become a valuable resource!

Why use a unit guide?

Let’s face it…as teachers, we have a LOT on our plates. From handling classroom management issues and communicating with parents to attending professional development meetings or running extracurricular clubs or our activities, our schedules can fill up pretty quickly! Lesson planning (although obviously important) can quickly feel like “too much” on top of the other activities and demands filling up your teacher’s schedule.

A curriculum guide is a compilation of middle school science lessons put together to offer you an instructional framework to work from. Instead of spending your precious time searching through Pinterest for classroom activities and science education resources, the planning has already been done for you! Not only will these free resources save you time, but the power-packed lessons included in each guide will engage your students and wow your administrators.

What’s included in a unit guide for science?

A well-developed unit guide will include a few key features designed to steer your science instruction in the right direction:

Unit Overview/Summary

Think of the unit overview as a teacher guide. In this section of the unit guide, you will be given a big-picture understanding of the unit’s goals and objectives that will guide your instruction.

Next Generation Science Standards

The NGSS standards are used to focus instruction across science disciplines for k-12 students. This helps you as the teacher to know whether or not your lessons are meeting the curriculum objectives outlined for your specific grade levels. For example, if you teach life science, it’s important to check the standards listed in the curriculum guides you are using to make sure the lessons contained within the guide align well with your standards.

Important Questions

Guiding questions help identify the disciplinary core ideas within the unit. Throughout the course of the unit of instruction, your students should be engaging in educational materials and resources that help them answer the essential guiding questions outlined within the unit guide for science. Your student’s ability to correctly answer these questions is a great way to assess the effectiveness of your instruction.

Pacing Guide

A pacing guide provides order and structure to your teaching. It offers suggestions regarding the order in which you teach the essential concepts of the unit. This helps ensure that your lessons build upon each other in a way that fosters student success. Pacing guides also offer recommendations regarding the duration of time that really should be spent on individual lesson activities or teaching concepts. This can be helpful in making sure you don’t get “stuck” on a concept far longer than necessary, but also that you don’t move on before your students are likely to have reached the desired level of understanding and comfortability with the content.

Science Activities

What is a unit without student resources and science materials? In this section of the unit guide, you’ll find a list of suggested activities and lesson plans that can be used in teaching the unit’s core concepts and objectives.

Assessment Ideas

Each of my unit guides for science will contain a section of assessment ideas that you could use to evaluate the effectiveness of your instruction and identify any areas where remediation or reteaching might be necessary.

If a unit roadmap is what you’re looking for, you need these FREE UNIT GUIDES for planning your middle school science curriculum. Here are a few you should check out:

I want more help!!!

Free unit guides are great resources to start planning your curriculum. Think of it as a map giving you a “bird’s eye view” of your unit instruction. But what if you want more than an overview? More than a map?

A unit bundle is your answer!

Think of full unit bundles as treasure boxes with everything you could possibly need to teach your unit from start to finish. From classroom posters and activity materials to copies of assessments and interactive tools, these bundles will walk you through your middle school science unit from start to finish. Some of these units can even be tweaked or modified for high school science classes.

As a science teacher myself, I’ve experienced first-hand the freedom that comes from having a step-by-step instructional plan. I’ve created these middle school science units with the intention of giving other teachers a taste of that same freedom. Each of the lessons contained within these units are standards-aligned, packed with inquiry-based activities and instructional materials, and can be used in both in-person or virtual classrooms.

I’ll give you an example!

In my Weather & Climate Change unit bundle, you’ll find over 23 different educational resources, including:

  • A copy of the unit guide
  • Guided reading passages and worksheets
  • A virtual density lab
  • Interactive Google Slides presentations
  • Color by Number vocabulary sheets
  • Webquest activities
  • Google Forms Quizzes

Teaching an engaging and powerful science unit will never be simpler! Instead of spending hours searching for lesson materials, you can devote your time instead to cultivating your relationships with your students and building that positive classroom environment we know is so important.

Ready to give it a try? I have Unit Bundles covering everything from Ecosystems to Astronomy. Head to my Teachers Pay Teachers store and search for “Full Unit.”

Unsure about purchasing a Unit Bundle?

Let me try to convince you that the products I’m offering are worth your hard-earned cash. (Or you can always apply for reimbursement through your school.)

I work hard so you don’t have to. Finding useful resources for your lesson is a lot of work. Making them is even more work. Whenever I can, I always trade money for time. A couple of dollars to reimburse another classroom teacher for their efforts in creating valuable resources is seen as a fair trade according to thousands of positive reviews.

My resources are high quality. Most of my resources come in both PDF and digital format. This will support you in face-to-face, virtual, or hybrid learning models. Having multiple representations is always useful for differentiation. My resources also include an easy-to-use answer key and high-quality image, graphics, and explanations where needed.

All of my resources are guaranteed. That means that if you’re unhappy with your purchase, I will fully refund you. My email is listed on the last page of every resource. All you have to do is send me a quick note about your experience and I can resolve the issue or refund you.

Let’s Stay Connected!

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