Instructional Strategy #16

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  • Instructional Strategy #16
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Colleen, Jessie, and Jeff

Instructional Strategy #16

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers

Cues, Questions, and Advance Organizers help students retrieve what they already know about a topic or “activate prior knowledge.”


Cues involve “hints” about what the students are about to experience.


An example of using cues in class:

Students are asked to read the cues for the play Romeo and Juliet. Then, talk in pairs about the cues and what they already know about Romeo and Juliet.

Cues for Romeo and Juliet:

· The play takes place in a town in Europe. The country is shaped like a boot.

· The main characters are “star-crossed lovers”.

· The male lead gives a romantic monologue under his lover’s balcony.

· The play has a tragic end.


Two ways to cue students are to:

1. Provide students with explicit cues to remind them. Ex. “Mighty mitochondria” produces energy.

2. Elicit from students what they already know about a topic. See example above and below.


The ABC organizer is a great way to cue students about a new topic to activate prior knowledge and see what they know. See the attached ABC organizer and fill in an upcoming topic. Example: The Civil War. I would have students work individually for a few minutes and then share with group members. They will be excited to see similarities and differences in their responses. Plus, they will all be on the same page as you introduce the new topic.

Marzano, e. a. (2001). Classroom Instruction that Works. ASCD

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