Teachers have always used the school calendar to plan instruction. Now, using a standard computer word-processing program, they can collect real-time information about what is actually taught to create "curriculum maps." These maps provide a clear picture of what is happening in their classes at specific points during the school year. The benefits of this kind of mapping are obvious for integrating curriculum: when curriculum maps are developed for every grade level, educators see not only the details of each map, but also the "big picture" for that school or district. They can see where subjects already come together--and where they don't, but probably should. In Mapping the Big Picture, Heidi Hayes Jacobs describes a seven-step process for creating and working with curriculum maps, from data collection to ongoing curriculum review. She discusses the importance of asking "essential questions" and of designing assessments that reflect what teachers know about the students in their care. She also offers a viable alternative to the "curriculum committees" that are part of almost every school district in the United States. The book concludes with more than 20 sample curriculum maps from real schools, all of which were developed using the process described in this book.