This slide deck from a professional development session on UbD covers the "big ideas" behind the curriculum framework. It breaks down the concrete steps needed to develop a complete unit using "backwards design."
Just why is this curriculum framework so essential? This easy-to-follow video answers that question by providing a clear introduction to the concept of UbD. Bottom line - the job of a teacher is not to just cover material; the true goal of instruction is student understanding. This video hits on the need for cognitive transfer of new knowledge, building for "early wins", and how to get others on board.
It's always best to go to the source! This book by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, the architects of UbD, provides a deep dive into what is involved for students to truly understand new content. It explains the entire UbD curriculum framework and how "backwards design" is its key feature. Also, the appendix has a useful sample template that can be used for planning.
Knowing what UbD is all about is a good start, but actually doing it another matter entirely! This website created by one of the UbD developers contains lots of different templates that will help any teacher apply the curriculum framework and backwards design approach. It provides links to numerous design tools, essential questions for every subject area, assessment planning tools, and study guides for various published works on the topic.
This video from one of the fathers of UbD highlights examples of actual cases in which the approach has been successful for teachers and students. It includes an excellent discussion of the types of learning activities that lead to successful transfer of knowledge from short to long-term memory.
This white paper from ASCD explains the Understanding By Design (UbD) framework for curriculum planning. It includes clear explanations of the 7 key principles involved and of the 3 stages of "backwards design." This excellent overview of the concept is accompanied by clear examples and FAQs.