Easy Step-By-Step Guide for Developing Curriculum Maps



Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Looking to streamline your teaching process, set long-term learning objectives, and keep your content current? Curriculum mapping is the answer!

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll uncover the art of conceptualizing and crafting a practical curriculum map, one step at a time. Discover how this powerful tool empowers teachers to efficiently organize lessons, chart long-term learning goals, and maintain up-to-date content.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your teaching approach. Join us on this journey to unlock the full potential of curriculum mapping.

Understand the Goals and Objectives of Curriculum

Before you design your curriculum map, it’s essential to understand the overall goals and objectives of the course.

Identify target audiences, desired learning outcomes, and state or institutional requirements.

Make sure you focus on quality reading, writing, critical thinking, problem-solving components, and opportunities to build teamwork skills.

Once you have these long-term goals, unpack them into smaller content topics and activities.

Create a Basic Outline of the Curriculum Map

Start by devising a structure for the map you are creating.

When outlining your curriculum map, consider topics to include and arrange them in an order that facilitates learning.

Consider prerequisites for each subject and create a flow from beginning to end. Think about laboratory activities, field trips, lectures, discussions, and other relevant pedagogical approaches.

Further refine the outline with topics, lesson plans, and additional information.

Include Relevant Learning Standards

Once you have an outline of the topics to include in your curriculum map, it’s crucial to research applicable standards and learning objectives.

Understand the knowledge and practices students should acquire from each lesson and how these objectives relate to the bigger picture of what they should be able to do long-term.

This knowledge ensures the material you cover meets educational standards and that your curriculum map is robust enough for today’s and tomorrow’s learners.

Incorporate Educational Technology into the Curriculum Map

Incorporating technology skills into the curriculum map is becoming increasingly important as it increases engagement and accountability while allowing students to be more productive.

Look for ways your curriculum provides students meaningful opportunities to practice tech-related skills. For example, coding, video editing, website design, and app development skills engage learners.

Technology tools help you better track student progress and provide evidence of their understanding of course material.

Consider Various Student Needs and Abilities

When designing a curriculum map, it is vital to consider students’ different needs and abilities.

Consider breaking up larger tasks into smaller achievable pieces, provide scaffolds where needed, and integrate opportunities for individualized learning.

Incorporate differentiated instruction when planning activities and assignments so that every student can find success in their way.

You may also need to provide accommodations for students with exceptional needs or language barriers.

By considering your student population’s various skills, interests, and abilities, you can ensure that everyone gets the most out of their learning experience.

Purpose of Using Curriculum Maps in Language Learning

Curriculum maps help to organize units for your students.

Once you have your timeframe set for your class, create a visual to map out the activities you will use for integrated skills-based teaching strategy for all four domains of language: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Use Curriculum Maps for Projects

Maps essentially fit within Project Based Learning (PBL) models.

Some schools use PBLs for summative assessments. Other schools use PBLs for learning units for projects with formative assessments.

Curriculum Map Example

Here is an example I use when creating thematic units and lesson plans.

Grade 10 English Reading and Writing

Starting your map with a general learner population and profile is important.

ESL students using curriculum map
My students during a lesson.

Learner Profile

  • 24 Grade 10 students at a Chinese high school international department
  • English reading and writing lessons are covered for forty to eighty minutes daily.
  • Students have a range of proficiency in all four domains of the English language.

Next, you will include the goal of the map.

Curriculum Map Goal

  1. To prepare students for English examinations in TOEFL and IELTS.

Now, you are ready to map out your lessons.

Sample Curriculum Map

Curriculum Map Week 1 and 2
Curriculum Map Week 3 and 4

Lastly, include any learning technology you will use.

Educational Technology

Google Docs- By using google docs to journal their chapter questions, students get immediate feedback for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

VoiceThread- By using VoiceThread, students can each contribute their opinions about the differences between Kansas and Oz. At the end of the activity, I will play the voice thread on the SmartBoard to hear a cumulative summary of the differences as each student presents. 

Splicer- Creating a news report video and using Splicer to edit, and add text, music, audio clips, and images will help students to formalize their ideas into a visual presentation. 

Padlet- By using Padlet to capture their group discussion about cause and effect relationships with the events and characters in the story, students will be able to see others’ opinions and critically think and discuss the concept of cause and effect. 

Using maps helps you to organize your thematic units. Once you have completed your curriculum map, you can focus on building the lessons for each activity.

Create a Curriculum Map

You can use PowerPoint or any other application to create your map. I have also used a table in Word. This example of a map was created in PowerPoint.


Curriculum mapping, combined with educational technology, is especially beneficial for language learning.

When mapped out properly, teachers efficiently plan their lessons and help students set long-term learning goals.

Additionally, it allows teachers to keep their content current and make sure that student learning remains focused on meeting set educational standards.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,


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