Essential Questions and Understandings

This curriculum follows the framework of Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTigue, 2005)

While Understanding by Design was developed for use in the classroom, it also provides a good framework for teaching anything effectively. Understanding by Design was used for a number of reasons. First, UbD requires one to work backward by considering what the desired results are before developing the path to get there. This is an important aspect of learning goal setting, something integral to becoming proficient in any sport. Second, UbD asks planners to consider how they will know their students or in this case, athletes, will have met the goals, objectives, or standards before planning the every day activities. This forces practices to be more productive because it outlines what an athlete must do in order to show they have met the goal or objective for that day. Standards can often use difficult vocabulary and be very specific so UbD asks the instructor to simplify or broaden the standards into “understandings” or big picture things that the athletes should know. Then, these understandings are put into question form, essential questions, that ask something that might not have an answer, provokes critical thinking, recurs throughout life, or draws connections between curriculums. Essential questions and understandings should be shared with the athletes and posted somewhere visible to serve as a reminder of what the goals are. 


Students will understand that…

  • Outdoor recreation is a way to develop personal character
  • Setting goals is a process that needs daily attention
  • Exercise makes you feel good and leads to a healthier life
  • Outdoor recreation is a way to connect to the surrounding environment
  • Learning a new set of skills takes teamwork, determination, goal setting, patience, practice, and focus
Essential Questions:
  • What can we learn about ourselves through learning to cross country ski?
  • How can setting goals help us to reach our dreams?
  • How can learning cross country skiing enhance our daily life?
  • How can we develop a connection to our environment through cross country skiing?
  • How can cross country skiing lead to character development? And what characteristics do we need to develop?
Students will know…
  • How to transfer energy from body to skis
  • The difference between V1, V2, Double pole, Striding
  • Ski safety
  • Proper equipment and care for that equipment
  • The value of goal setting
Students will be able to…
  • Ski on their own over undulating terrain
  • Ski using the appropriate technique for the terrain
  • Decide when it is safe to ski
  • Pick up, put on, and store ski equipment
  • Set appropriate ski goals for the season