The Three Part Lesson

Links and Resources

Special Education Additional Qualification Course

"What Kind of a Chef Are You? How Are You in the Kitchen?"

Marisa Kaplan, in her article about Special Education students and differentiation, begins by posing this question, and thinking about how her friends would answer. She figured that some could follow the directions to make mac and cheese, others could probably make eggs and simple recipes, while some would want to make stuff from scratch. She goes on to say "I would never ask my "macaroni friends" to make their own sauce, nor would I toss a box of macaroni to my top tier friends, when I know they could be creating a divine meal from scratch! Let's apply this idea to the classroom...

  1. In education, one size does not fit all.
  2. All students deserve and are entitled to appropriate instruction.
  3. We can accommodate in small, simple ways that will support growth in all of our students."


It is a framework for planning differentiated instruction, in any content area...

….based on Constructivist theory of teaching and learning. The lesson taps into students' prior knowledge, or schema, and then actively engages them in making their own meaning instead of passively receiving information. It requires collaborative group work structures and accountable talk strategies, so that students are able to work cooperatively and make their thinking visible. Students investigate and inquire into concepts, while teachers probe and push thinking with effective coaching questions, and document students' strengths, interests, questions and misconceptions. This pedagogical documentation helps teachers to differentiate further, since they can identify student need and respond, either with individual, small group or large group explicit instructions.

Three Part Lesson Videos and Webcasts:

Bansho (The Three Part Math Lesson)

Ontario Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat Monographs

Accommodations and Modifications

Ontario Ministry of Education, Education for All, 2005: p. 117-122

Ontario Ministry of Education, Growing Success, 2010: p.70-73

Three Part Lesson Samples

Check out any of the Guides to Effective Instruction, which can be found at or the Think Literacy resources, which can be found at
Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion