Big Ideas for Curious Minds

With the end of the school year in sight, our teachers are turning their minds to summer planning and big aims for next year’s classes. This means developing a fresh iteration of the year’s thematic curriculum, and we have taken this opportunity to collect our thoughts on why we teach what we teach when we teach it. The result is a new issue of Cambium, a curricular journal written by our teachers three times per school year, entitled “Big Ideas for Curious Minds.” (Click the title to download the PDF.) In these pages Felicity Nunley reveals her strategies for planning and teaching a unit on Ancient Greece for her K-1 class; Peter ffitch creates a natural context in which to teach Portland history to his second and third graders in light of their developmental stage; Becca Blaney and Charles Brod integrate environmental science and creative writing by asking their 4-5 students to set folktales or creation myths in a world biome they are studying; and Linus Rollman makes a case for teaching Islam in middle-grade Humanities in the service of guiding students into thoughtful and knowledgeable discourse on different cultures’ answers to the great human questions.

Cambium is free and we encourage you to share it with any friends or colleagues who might be interested. If you would like to receive future issues, we’d love to add you to our subscription list: please email us at All back issues are available for download here.