SOS Top Ten for Differentiating Instruction

Welcome to the SOS Top Ten series. In this edition, we highlight some of the most popular ways to use Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) to differentiate instruction for a variety of learning needs.

Differentiation of instruction includes more than just providing students choices in the content they interact with or providing a variety of media types.

Individual and group assignments of varying complexity ensure that students are building understanding at a conceptual level. Using varied assessments can help teachers determine appropriate learning paths for students.

All of the strategies included here can be adapted for use with many different types of Discovery Education media, making them a flexible instructional tool for any teacher.

We hope you’ll try one or more strategy and share your experience with us in the DEN Online Community.


Pair a Discovery Education media selection that introduces a concept with Think, Puzzle, Explore (CDN Version) so that students can consider which content will help them answer their questions.


Use a series of Discovery Education images and the strategy Twenty Questions (CDN Version)to naturally group students according to their questions. Students can search the Discovery Education Student Center for additional resources to help them answer the questions.


Provide a variety of Discovery Education media selections and allow students to choose which ones they will interact with. Pair students who selected the same media type and have them share and reflect on what they learned using XO Let’s Go (CDN Version).


Pair Feature Find (CDN Version) with with a variety of Discovery Education media selections to allow students to use one (or more) learning modalities when interacting with content. 


Students may not be aware of all the options they have for interacting with content. Teach students how to use the features of different media resources with the strategy Get a Clue (CDN Version).


Help students identify the advantages and challenges of different media types by using the strategy PMI (CDN Version) with reading passages, audio files, images, and interactives.


Choose a Discovery Education video segment that students have not interacted with and use the strategy Filling the Silence (CDN Version) to apply their learning and create a script.


Use PechaKucha (CDN Version) to scaffold and provide creative license to students as they demonstrate their understanding either independently or in groups.


Ask students to retell a story or concept by focusing on key points and supporting details or evidence with Paper Slide (CDN Version).


Use Table Top Texting (CDN Version) as a way for students to process information they’ve read, heard, or seen in Discovery Education digital media. Allow students to write or draw their responses to differentiate for communication and processing needs.


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