Instructional Strategies

Learning can simply be defined as a process by which instruction causes a change in a student’s knowledge (or behavior). Also known as various approaches to teaching, tactics, teacher tool box or tool kit, instructional strategies can be a teacher’s best friend.

Effective teachers know that in order to maximize the learning experience of students, one must vary the instructional strategies used in a classroom depending on the expected learner outcomes, nature of the lesson and sometimes even the chemistry of the students in a specific class. This section of the Statewide Instructional Resources Center will provide you with a variety of instructional strategies meant to enhance your teaching experience.

RAFT Mix and Match Writing Strategy Ideas for Cosmetology, Education and Training, Dollars and Sense, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services. See zip file below

Venn Diagrams are graphic organizers used to compare and contrast concepts. See Venn Diagram template below.

KWL charts activate students’ prior knowledge by asking them what they already Know; then students set goals specifying what they Want to learn; and after reading students discuss what they have Learned. See KWL and KWHL Chart templates below.

The Four Corner Vocabulary Activity (see below) is a great instructional strategy for English Language Learners. A variation of this activity is to have students document the information, using an index card per word, and create their own Personal Dictionary. The left hand corner of each index cards can be hole punched and deck can be held together with an over-sized notebook ring. The Personal Word Wall (see below) is another tool to help students create their own word wall folder.

Have you ever assigned a reading/summary assignment only to discover that half of the class did not complete the task? The Article STOP and JOT (see below) may be the solution to this problem. Students will STOP after reading EACH paragraph and JOT down its main idea or key points. This strategy will allow students to gather and process their finding and thoughts prior to writing a summary. Modeling the strategy prior use is recommended.

The graphic organizers (see below) are a great instructional strategy for English Language Learners. The graphic organizers will help students identify the main idea of the lesson or concept and the details that support it. This strategy allows students to determine the main idea in the reading selection. Supporting details tell more about the main idea.
Cosmetology Graphic Organizer
The Sandwich Chart
Building Blocks Graphic Organizer
MyPlate Graphic Organizer
Spider Map

Note-taking graphic organizers assist the students in remembering important details, information and concepts. See the Note-taking graphic organizers below.
Cosmetology Note-taking
Note-taking Graphic Organizer
The Ladder of Information
Education and Training (crayons) Note-taking
Education and Training (school supplies) Note-taking
Hospitality and Tourism (suitcases) Note-taking
Hospitality and Tourism (hotel) Note-taking
Keys to Information
Double-Entry Journal

The Information Wheel and Information Pyramid graphic organizers are a good way for the students to add description words, terms, and pictures about the topic, article or information. See the Information Wheel and Information Pyramid below.

The K-W-H-L graphic organizer generates students’ prior knowledge by asking them what they already Know; assists with setting goals specifying what they Want to learn; guides them to think about How they will learn it; leading to what they have Learned. See KWHL Chart template below.

The lesson closures activities (see below) are instructional strategies which allows students to summarize main ideas, evaluate class processes, answer questions posed at the beginning of the lesson, and link to both the past and the future. It also allows the teacher to evaluate the progress of the students and the lesson.
Lesson Closure
What Did You Learn Today?
3-2-1 Lesson Closure
You’ve Got Mail Reflection

The Basic Pyramid graphic organizer (see below) can be utilized to illustrate a hierarchy. It can also be used as a main idea pyramid in which students can deconstruct an idea into different components.

The What-Why-How Graph (see below) is a good tool to help students in developing paragraphs and expressing their opinions. Give them a prompt and watch them express themselves by written form.

Identifying Similarities and Differences Comparison Note-taking (see below).
Finding similarities and differences while learning helps students make connections to previous knowledge and retain information better. Some ways to help students with this core strategy include finding metaphors and analogies and classifying ideas or objects based on the characteristics or featured topic.

The Think-Ink-Pair-Share Activity (see below) is an excellent prior knowledge activity that helps students to focus their thoughts on a specific topic. Students are given a question or topic and are asked to first think about what they know, and then record their ideas down, and pair up with someone to share what they wrote. The final stage is a large group discussion. This can be used as an ELPS and Special Populations strategy.

The Chit Chat Topics Handout (see below) is a writing strategy which will help the students organize their thoughts and information and will encourage communication skills.

The Filmstrip Sequencing Activity (see below) is a writing strategy which students will design his or her own comic storyline including pictures and speech bubbles.