Cues, Question, and Advanced Organizers

Instructional strategies used to help students activate prior knowledge, use, and organize information.

  • Cues: give "hints" of what is to be learned.
  • Questions: provide a focus for learning.
  • Advance Organizers: structures that teachers provide to students before learning an activity to help them classify and make sense of content; help students focus on new information.

Summary of the Research:

  1. Cues and questions should focus on importance of the topic
  2. Asking students higher level questions (Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation) or using higher level advance organizers will allow them to experience deeper learning than lower level questions (Knowledge, Comprehension, Application) or lower level organizers
  3. Waiting after asking questions will also increase students' understanding
  4. "Questions are effective learning tools even when asked before a learning experience."
  5. Focus on importance, not unusual
  6. Useful for use with information that is not already organized
  7. Different types produce different results

Suggestions for Use in the Classroom:

Cues: "What do you already know?" (about the topic)

  • "How are these the same/different?"
  • "What are the defining characteristics of this group?"
  • "What is the reasoning behind this perspective?
Advanced Organizers:
  • Expository organizers describe new content,
  • Narrative organizers present information in "story" format
  • Skimming is also considered an advanced organizer (teach students to skim)
  • Teach students to use and create graphic organizers

Technology Applications:

Word Processing Applications: Tools used to create expository, narrative, and graphic organizers. The word processing applications tool is also used to create fill-in -the-line-blank guide to help learners take notes.
  • Expository Advanced Organizers: brochures, rubrics, and definitions.
  • Narrative Advanced Organizers: stories, articles, and artistic works.
  • Graphic Advance Organizers: tables, charts, or artistic works.

Spreadsheet Software: Tools used to create rubrics in micro-soft-excel or word processing table-making feature.

Organizing and Brainstorming Software: Tools used to create advanced graphic organizers used with explicit cues, questioning, and brainstroming techniques.

  • Website Link: Kidspiration
  • Website Link: Inspiration

Multimedia: Tools used as graphic organizers to activate prior knowledge and help learners to develop a mental image of the material.