SOS: Sticky Back

Creative, research-based instructional strategies, presented by teachers for teachers, the Spotlight on Strategies series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating Discovery Education digital media into your curriculum in meaningful, effective, and practical ways.

Leave a comment and let us know how you’ll use this strategy in your class.


Spotlight on Strategies: Sticky Back

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Listening, reading, and/or watching for key ideas and details is an important 
comprehension skill for students of all ages to master. Understanding what a media selection explicitly says allows a student to make inferences and take appropriate actions. The Sticky Back strategy encourages students to listen and observe beyond the obvious, reporting key ideas and details they observed – and hope their classmates did not!


Materials: media selection, sticky notes, writing tools
  1. Have students watch a video, listen to an audio segment, or read a reading passage. Encourage them to watch or listen carefully, paying attention to facts, including those that might be overlooked by others.
  2. Give each student a sticky note.
  3. On the sticky side (the back) of the sticky note, ask students to write their name and one fact that they learned from the media.
  4. Make sure students know that points will be awarded for their facts:
    • Facts that relate to the topic earn 1 point.
    • Original facts (meaning no other student mentioned that fact) earn 5 points.
  5. As students finish writing the facts, have them deliver sticky notes to a location in the room (teacher desk, chart paper, section on white board, etc.). Because they wrote on the back of the sticky note, no one will be able to see their answer. 
  6. Next, flip each sticky note over and read them aloud. Separate them into two piles: those that are original and those that are duplicates. If you are concerned that students will not be engaged, consider having them help you decide where each of the sticky notes belongs.
  7. Follow the complete process several times, reviewing the resource each time. After several rounds, add up the points that students have earned. The winner can have Fact Master bragging rights until you play again or could earn a small reward.
The Sticky Back strategy provides a fun way to encourage students to tune in to the finer details of a topic. It is an example of gamification in the classroom. It can appeal to a variety of factors that drive students, including the need for achievement, competition, and recognition. It can also provide a fun way to address content that may not be high interest for students.
Consider keeping a running tally of points earned by students. The student with the most points at the end of a pre-determined length of time could earn a reward. This provides all students with multiple opportunities to achieve.

This strategy is courtesy of Eve Heaton, Beaufort County, South Carolina.

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One Comment;

  1. Hilda Gomez said:

    After visiting Discovery Education seminars while I was at CUE a couple old weeks ago, I realized I had an amazing tool at my fingertips and I was not taking advantage of it. My school district uses Discovery Ed and I am ashamed to admit it I went to DEN training however I did not use the strategies in my classroom they way I should. S.OS. Is such an easy tool to use in my classroom and it can hit so many standards!
    This Sticky Back strategy is a great way to allow my EL Learners to be more aware of details. It allows lots of movement in my class as well as communicating with their peers. Thank you for the idea and look forward to implementing it in my class when I return from Spring break.

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