Thematic planning involves integrating curriculum areas around topics or themes, making it possible to classifying instructions along core areas such as science, arts and social studies. Thematic planning is effective in teaching a variety of skills by using theme projects, units and teaching in covering various topics. Thematic planning seeks to view teaching and learning in an interactive and holistic way that reflects the real world. Many teachers plan the theme-based units on their own or after consulting with other teachers. However, developing thematic units in consultation with student is might be more advantageous.
During the process of developing thematic units, students come up with innovative strategies, ideas and resources, which might make them more committed to the learning process, since it is driven from their individual interests. Learning is made more consequential by thematic planning as learners chose the topics and the methods of studying. Thematic planning is an interactive process that improves the interpersonal skills between students and teachers, since teachers become more of collaborators than authority figures.
Thematic teaching units are made up by a variety of interconnected activities that are formulated around themes or topics, covering several areas within the curriculum. This integrated approach promotes wider coverage of the curriculum since teachers create learning activities that fulfills numerous purposes, as opposed to preparing separate experiences for a single subject. Additional concepts are introduced to the curriculum, since teachers consult with the students before building webs containing the themes that interest the students.
Integrating the diverse subjects in the curriculum into themes brings out the inter-relationship of the different school programs, making learning more relevant. Thematic planning is aimed at helping students in contextualizing what they learn and applying it in real life situations. It also provides an avenue for integration of content area in a realistic manner that helps children in applying the knowledge they acquire significantly in their daily lives.
Thematic units are powerful tools for building and maintaining students’ interest during learning. They are diverse since the teacher can expand the content and ideas after receiving inputs from students, as opposed to teaching from a file that carries the same content from one year to the next. Varied responses given by each class after every year makes the curriculum more rich and diverse. This diversity of curriculum also allows the utilization of different methods of teaching and learning styles in class.