Combining Universal Themes

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Combining universal themes and generalizations is a great way to take students to the next level.  This facilitates a complex exploration of the topic.


Structure + Power

Structure can provide power! 

Image of Universal Theme Structure can provide power

Before introducing a generalization (or combined generalization) to students, I always plot out my own answers or response to the prompt I plan to provide to students.  To the right, you can see my thinking as I planned this for my students.  Consider how you can use this with your students to explore across disciplines how structure can provide power .  Some ideas: Earth Science (natural forces -hurricanes, tornadoes, etc), Physical Science (atoms, etc), Life Science (muscles, cells, etc), Mathematics (geometry, measurement, etc), Business, Military, and the list goes on…


I have included a template  for Structure Can Provide Power with blank columns should you like to use it with your students and also a blank Big Idea template should you wish you use it for something else.

Download file Structure can Provide Power here.     Structure can provide power blank

Download blank Big Idea template here. Big Idea Template with edges


Combining Universal Themes: Other Examples

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Download File combine universal themes

  • Power impacts systems
  • Exploration may perpetuate order or chaos
  • Exploration may lead to relationships that are both good and bad
  • Structure is necessary for power
  • Force may contribute to conflict
  • Conflict may result in new relationships
  • Conflict may perpetuate chaos or order
  • Change may lead to relationships

Words in the boxes may be used to broaden the context of the generalization.  You can see from the examples below the difference in each prompt.

Systems change

Systems change: body systems, government systems, school systems, systems of language, legal systems

Systems undergo change 
Systems undergo change: body systems change as one grows; systems of rule change as new leadership emerges

Systems may lead to change
Systems may lead to change in _____________: systems of technology may lead to change in behavior/ communication/transportation/food production/etc; systems of communication may lead to change in relationships

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