SOS: Who Are You?

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

Who Are You?

PDF Version


If we want students to focus on learning, we must first make sure they feel safe and secure. “Before students will turn their attention to cognitive learning (the curriculum), they must feel physically safe and emotionally secure.” (Differentiation and the Brain, Tomlinson & Sousa, pg. 21) Using the power of images to understand and identify feelings about the learning environment is an effective strategy to ensure students develop a positive relationship with the teacher and the curriculum.


  • Explain to students that they will be learning about Newton’s Laws of Motion.
  • Play the video segment Newton’s Laws of Motion to introduce students to this concept.
  • Show an image such as the one above. Ask students to take a few minutes and write who they are and why when it comes to their understanding of the Laws of Motion. Are they the alligator, ready to bite and excited to chew? Or are they the frog, nervous about their ability to hang on and hoping they are not swallowed by the concept?
  • Ask students to come up with an action plan list of 3 things they can do based on their answer. For example, if they say they are the alligator, they could say they will help their peers to understand the Laws of Motion, identify a resource that explains the Laws of Motion and share it with the class, or review the Laws of Motion at home.
  • Meet with the students individually or in small groups to discuss their feelings about the new concept and discuss their action plan to ensure they feel comfortable with the topic.


  • Select a topic that matches your curriculum.
  • Introduce the basic topic/concept to students so they understand what they are about to learn.
  • Find an image on Discovery Education where students identify who they are (try searching for “prey”, “shark”, or “eating” in the search box to find relevant images).
  • Ask students to write about who they are and why.
  • Have students develop an action plan based on their answer.
  • Meet with students to review their answers and address any concerns, fears, or misconceptions about the topic.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.


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