Integrated Thematic Instruction

Integrated Thematic Instruction


Integrated Thematic Instruction (ITI) is a comprehensive school model designed by Susan Kovalik in 1982 to increase student performance and teacher satisfaction. The primary purpose of the model is to teach children in a way where they will gain authentic understanding of core content areas and develop responsible citizenship. Over the past 25 years, ITI has been implemented in thousands of schools across America, Europe and Asia. The ITI model is a brain-compatible instructional model grounded in the biology of effective instructional strategies, cross curriculum thematic instruction, and the development of conceptual curriculum.

Absence of Threat/Nurturing Reflective Thinking

Teachers establish a community of learners where students feel safe to participate and share out ideas. Students are asked to reflect on their learning and content.

Meaningful Content

For students to be fully engaged, the content must have an application and be meaningful to their world. The standards are presented in theme-based units that allow for frequent connections.

Enriched Environment

An ITI classroom has a print rich environment that includes a wide variety of resources and student work. Music, plants and animals contribute to the creation of a natural environment. 11

Adequate Time

Students need adequate time to process information and apply new learning. Some projects require adjustments in schedules for students to fully grasp the content.

Immediate Feedback

Students require immediate and meaningful feedback about their work and learning. This guides students to further develop their abilities.


Based on the multiple intelligences, students have choices of activities in order to tap into their different learning modalities. Students may choose from a variety of projects.


Students collaborate with their peers on a variety of projects. This gives students opportunity to learn from each other as well as learn valuable interpersonal skills. Staff constantly collaborates to plan lessons and teach students.


Students have the opportunity to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways. There are multiple forms of assessment that are utilized to monitor and enhance student learning.

Life Skills


Students learn about the eighteen Life Skills developed by Susan Kovalik.