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Working with the End in Mind

Developed by

Gil Abisdris and Lina Zielinski, EMSB


The aim of this workshop is to help educators to become familiar with the pedagogical strategy “Working with the end in mind”. This approach helps teachers meet the needs of all students by designing their teaching backwards, based on desired outcomes .


This workshop familiarizes participants with the concept of backward design as an instructional framework so that they are able to address the four driving questions of a Professional Learning Community (PLC):

  • What do we expect our students to learn?

  • How will we know they are learning?

  • How will we respond when they don’t learn?

  • How will we respond if they already know it?

Context For Use

This is a 2-hour interactive workshop intended for school administrators and teachers. It works well with large groups. There is a PowerPoint download included, and a handout booklet for participants.


  • Knowledge Mobilization - Through this workshop, participants are able to utilize available knowledge about effective ways of designing lessons and assessments in their efforts to ensure success for all students.
  • Knowledge Acquisition - New information is shared with educators about how to use practical and evidence based frameworks, such as backwards design (The End in Mind) and PLCs to improve outcomes.  


  • Participants would benefit from an introduction to PLCs before attending this workshop.

  • Although the activity called ‘Unwrapping the Competencies’ is based on the Quebec Education Programs for English Language Arts and Mathematics, it can be adapted for any subject area in a given curriculum.

  • Participant Booklet should be printed double-sided on ledger paper (11X17).

Find Out More

Understanding by Design, Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J., (1998).

Learning by Doing, Dufour R.& Dufour, R.,  (2006).