Frequently Asked Questions
A primary function of the DISCUS program is the development and dissemination of science lesson plans. Registered users can freely search, download, use, and adapt lesson plans which are already published on this site. Use the search or browse feature on the home page to find lessons. Use the Advanced Search feature to search based on grade level, teaching strategy, subject, author, or any other field. All lesson plans conform to a 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) learning cycle model and incorporate sheltered instruction approaches to reach students having multiple learning intelligence and/or limited English proficiency (LEP) . By involving a wide variety of teaching strategies (e.g., graphics, audiovisual, creative/artistic, hands-on, kinesthetic, and group activities), these lessons will be effective for communicating science subject matter to the broadest cross-section of students possible. Importantly, all lesson plans explicitly describe or contain all of the materials necessary for them to be performed, including detailed teacher’s instructions.
Representing a new paradigm in sheltered instruction of science, all users registered as educators can contribute to the DISCUS program by designing, publishing, and sharing their own original lesson plan ideas. You can even collaborate with other teachers to co-author lesson plans. All submissions are anonymously peer-reviewed to insure the highest quality of materials. The addition of peer-reviewed publications to your CV or resume can set you apart from the crowd if you are seeking employment or promotion. In order to help you through the lesson plan design and submission process, we have created a comprehensive step-by-step Author’s Instructions. This document also provides details of the 5E model and descriptions of the various sheltered instruction teaching strategies you should incorporate into your own DISCUS lessons.
We hope you will take the opportunity to use the lessons we have available, but also contribute your own ideas. We welcome your inquiries and suggestions at any time along the process by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can grade each of the lessons in the system in order to indicate which ones are your favorites. If you are a teacher or educator, register now to gain access to all that DISCUS has to offer.
For more information, additional sources of lesson plans and ideas, and various other programs of interest, visit our Useful Links page.