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Tips for Using Formative in Cross-Curricular Thematic Units
Tips for Using Formative in Cross-Curricular Thematic Units
Neta Raz Studnitski avatar
Written by Neta Raz Studnitski
Updated over a week ago

Thematic Units

Arranging a curriculum around a particular topic or theme could not be easier using Formative!

The versatility and variety of question types that Formative presents to teachers, allow them to tailor lessons, worksheets, assessments and more to any theme and to any subject!

In our Gold districts and schools, teachers have the ability to collaborate and contribute to the creation of shared folders for cross-curricular thematic units, that the entire school or district can use!

In this article, we have gathered some examples of ways teachers have developed cross-curricular thematic units using Formative. You can click to see examples from our Library to grab for your own use, or to get inspiration from.

Earth Environment Example

Ideas for a middle school cross-curricular thematic unit about The Earth’s Environment:


  1. Reading comprehension: Students can read a text about the environment uploaded to a formative, and answer questions about that text. Formative has 20 question types that can be used to assess comprehension in different ways. The teacher can include supporting resources such as audio files, videos, screencasts, slides, and more.

  2. Creative writing: Teachers can use Formative for pre-writing, writing, and reflection activities on an environment theme. A Drawing question can be used for pre-writing activities such as brainstorms, diagramming, drawing, taking notes, uploading images, and more. Students can then write based on a prompt using the Free Response question type. Teachers can grade the writing using a rubric in Formative, and encourage self-reflection using Audio Response or Video Response questions.

    Here are great examples for reading guide activities:
    APES Ch. 13 - Water Resources
    APES Ch. 12 - Food Production and the Environment
    And this Soil and Soil Lab activity demonstrates well how to bring content into a formative.

🔬 Science

  1. Labs: Teachers can deliver environment-themed content (slides, videos, text, audio) through Formative, and enable students to record hypotheses, results, conclusions and more using the 20 different question types.

  2. Embedded simulations: Teachers can embed simulations (such as PhET’s simulation of the greenhouse effect) into a formative, then add additional resources and questions.

    Here is a formative based on Gizmo: Effect of Environment on New Life Form and a Mineral Lab example!

📊 Math

  1. Learning about the environment through graphs: Teachers can apply the theme of the environment to lessons about graphs, slopes, and rates of change (for example). Teachers can upload images, draw diagrams, record their screen, add audio, and many other types of content to support direct instruction and modeling of the skills in Formative. Students can then complete independent practice in a formative with many question types, including options for students to draw and upload their work.

    For inspiration, see this example for using roller coaster slopes as the theme.

🗺️ Social Studies

  1. Learning about the environment through exploration of cultures and cultural diversity: Teachers can upload content such as videos, images, or articles to present evolution of cultures in relation to their geographic location. Students can then respond to a variety of question types to showcase their knowledge and critical thinking. Teachers can also structure project work using sections within formatives where students can investigate specific cultures and present their findings via text, audio or video.

  2. Learning about historical events that led to the development of environmental protection: Teachers can embed information from the United States EPA, and use the large variety of question types such as Match Table Grid, Categorization, Hot Text, Fill in the Blank or Drag & Drop to prompt students to represent time-line and/or correlation of events.

    Check out these formatives for inspiration:
    Urban Environments
    Human Environment Interactions

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