A DAy in the life of a YCS Child


YCS is proud to have been honored as a Showcase School for the past four years in a row, 2015-2019. We have been selected to showcase and share with other educators across the city how we Design Cross-Curricular Thematic Units of Study. Our themetic units of study provide our students with continuous opportunities to participate in whole class discussions and investigations that encourage verbal and written communication, collaborative studies, and student directed research. We focus on the vertical alignment of curriculum from kindergarten through fifth grade in order to deepen content knowledge and promote student ownership over the learning process.

What is a Showcase School? The Showcase Schools Program was designed by the NYC Department of Education to promote the collaboration and sharing of strong practices. Schools that excel in a specific learning focus area host educators from other schools to share their successful structures and strategies, and discuss the path they took to develop those structures and strategies. A Showcase School hosts three learning focus tours for educators from other schools. With tailored support and guidance from the DOE Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning, the Showcase Schools will build their own capacity to share strong practices and plan to execute learning focus tours.

During our showcase, visitors learn how YCS designs thematic units to ensure academic and social success, and see evidence of learning throughout the school. We share how to design cross-curricular units of study that make content more accessible and provide multiple entry points for all students. At the end of the day, educators will have the opportunity to plan how this practice could be incorporated into their own work.

The YCS showcase visit was featured in the February 2019 issue of the Council of School Supervisors & Administrators. Click here to read the article.


"Children grow into the intellectual life around them." -Vygotsky
At YCS, students in all grades engage in multiple thematic units of study throughout the year. Our Common Core State Standard theme units of study are presented using an integrated, cross- curricular approach that emphasizes the reading of nonfiction text and the stages of researching to explore, learn and teach.

What is a Thematic Unit of Study?

A Thematic unit is the organization of a curriculum around a central theme. Thematic instruction integrates basic disciplines like reading, math, and writing with the exploration of a hig interest comprehensive subject, such pets, restaurants, sea creatures, government, etc.

Why Thematic Units of Study

  • They reflect student interests
  • They helps students make and understand connections
  • They expand assessment strategies
  • They keep students engaged
  • They supports rigor
  • They draw on connections from the real world and life experiences
  • They provide hands-on and authentic learning experiences
  • They develop EQ- Emotional Intelligence
  • Teacher work as facilitators
  • They accessibility though multiple entry points


Thematic Units of Study Across Grades
(Click on image for Larger View)