• Considering the Crosscutting Concepts
  • Crosscutting Concepts
  • Teacher workshop
  • Crosscutting Concepts
  • Teacher workshop
  • Crosscutting concepts as lenses
  • Teacher workshop

How should the Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) be used in the classroom? Are they just a way to categorize activities or can they actually be used to support and deepen student learning?  Consider these questions and prepare your educators for success with this dimension of the NGSS.  These introductory activities build familiarity with the CCCs and an understanding of their potential as a thinking tool for students.

About these activities
Crosscutting Concepts
  • These materials are designed to help you facilitate successful NGSS training for a team of educators.
  • On each activity page, you will find a short video overview of the activity and a fully detailed lesson plan.
  • These three introductory activities about the Crosscutting Concepts will give your educators a strong foundation to build on as they prepare for implementation.
  • Each activity can stand alone, and you can mix and match with your own materials.
  • They also fit together well as a progression, starting with a broad introduction with the Chess Metaphor, getting more familiar with the basics with the CCC Speed Dating and Station Rotation activities, and then thinking more deeply about how to use this tool in the Vertical Alignment and CCC Lenses activities.
Activity: Introducing the Crosscutting Concepts: The Chess Metaphor
chess

This presentation introduces the Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) and their rationale through a story about research done with expert and novice chess players. The results of the research points to fundamental differences in how these two groups organize information. Participants are then given a chance to share their first impressions of the CCCs before diving deeper into the follow-up activities.

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: 15 minutes
Learning modes: presentation, group discussion

Activity: CCC Speed Dating and Station Rotation
stations

The first step in preparing to use the Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) is to become familiar with what they are and how they are defined. This activity is a basic introduction to the names of the seven CCCs and an opportunity to start learning what they mean and how content might be sorted among them.  This interactive, two-part activity and discussion helps to lay the foundation for deeper thinking about these ideas later on.

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: 40 minutes ​
Learning modes: interactive, hands-on stations, group discussion

Activity: Vertical Alignment and CCC Lenses
ray lagoon

Once participants have grasped the basic framework defined by the Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), they can move on to explore how the CCCs progress across the grades and how they can be used to draw different ideas out of a single piece of content. This pair of activities explores these two ideas and will help participants deepen their understanding of the CCCs as a versatile tool to support student learning.

Professional learning for: K-12 educators
Estimated time: 40 minutes ​
Learning modes: interactive, group discussion, small group discussion