Text-heavy table

I am new to LaTex and trying to teach myself. Currently I am trying to write a unit plan for graduate school (MA in Math Ed), which would look something like that provided image.

One question, one request:

What environment should I use for such a text-heavy table? longtable? It will run two or three pages. landscape.

Anyone willing to share how they would write the first few lines of this table, to help me get started?

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! From a typographical point of view, this table example is a mess, hardly readable at all. I would not try to reproduce this and surely not as a beginner of LaTeX
    – user31729
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 5:33
  • 1
    I think what Christian means is that the conceptual hierarchy of each 'box' is quite unclear to a reader encountering it for the first time. E.g., take the boxes for 'transfer', 'meaning', and 'acquisition': it looks like transfer > meaning > acquisition, which seems odd to say the least. And then 'Established Goals' doesn't even seem to rank at the same level given the radically different heading style. If you hope to fit all this sort of information into a (vaguely) tabular form, I would recommend rethinking the presentation so the information has a logical place, not just a place.
    – jon
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 5:45
  • You can dp that easily using TikZ ang get all those lines, the colors; all the strange stuff. But please, rethink the design. If the content is worth to be put on 5 pages, make it so. If not and you want to compress it, rethink your content.
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 7:33

1 Answer 1


@ach I think this may get you going.

\usepackage{booktabs} %% IMPROVED TABULAR
\usepackage{multirow} %% VERY IMPORTANT
\usepackage{XCharter} %% YOU CAN CHANGE IT LATER
\usepackage[table]{xcolor} %% YOU NEED THIS TO ADD COLOR
\usepackage[letterpaper, bottom=25mm,top=25mm, left=20mm, right=25mm]{geometry} %% ADDED TO EXPAND THE WORKING AREA
\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.2} %% MORE SPACE BETWEEN TABLE LINES

\multicolumn{3}{|c|}{\cellcolor{black} \textbf{\color{white} Stage 1 Desired Results}}\\ \hline
\textsc{Established Goals} \hfill G\newline
Understand similarity in terms of ...
& \multicolumn{2}{|c|}{\cellcolor{gray!40}\textit{Transfer}} \\\cline{2-3}
                  & \multicolumn{2}{l|}{
                  Students will be able to independently use their learning to: \hfill T\newline
                  Express appropiate mathematical reasoning...
                  }\\ \cline{2-3}

& \multicolumn{2}{c|}{\cellcolor{gray!40}\textit{Meaning}}\\ \cline{2-3}
                  & \begin{minipage}[t]{0.32\textwidth}
                     \textsc{Understanding} \hfill U\newline
                      Students will understand that...
                      \end{minipage} & \begin{minipage}[t]{0.32\textwidth}
                                        \textsc{Essential Questions} \hfill Q\newline
                                         Q1 How can similarity be modeled in real life situations?
                                         \end{minipage}\\ \cline{2-3}

& \multicolumn{2}{c|}{\cellcolor{gray!40}\textit{Acquisition}}\\ \cline{2-3}
                  & \begin{minipage}[t]{0.32\textwidth}
                    \emph{Students will know} \hfill K\newline
                    K1 Targeted Academic Language
                    \end{minipage} & \begin{minipage}[t]{0.32\textwidth}
                    \emph{Students will be skilled at...} \hfill S\newline
                    S1 Using techonology to verify properties of similarity transformations
                    \end{minipage}\\ \hline

The result you can see it next

Complex Table

Of course I didn't type the whole table information. But this MWE may help you with your task.

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