Top Ten SOS for College and Career Readiness

Welcome to the SOS Top Ten series. In this edition, we highlight some ways to use Spotlight on Strategies (CDN Version) to develop college and career readiness.

The term “college and career ready” means that a student graduates from high school ready to take the next step in their post-secondary lives, whether in college or in the workforce. This includes*:

  •      Developing key cognitive strategies
  •      Mastering core content
  •      Taking ownership of their learning
  •      Becoming proficient with a range of learning strategies
*From: Conley, D. T. (n.d.). What Does It Mean to be College and Career Ready? (

Discovery Education supports college and career readiness by providing a variety of resources and programs for students and teachers, like the instructional ideas from the Spotlight On Strategies series.

The SOS series includes more than 130 strategies to scaffold students in mastering the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be college- and career-ready. Explore this curated list of ten.

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

Develop Key Cognitive Strategies

Students need frequent opportunities to practice and hone research skills, beginning with the formulation of solid research questions, knowing how to select and mine resources to find information, and knowing how to best communicate what they’ve learned with others. Students can develop these skills by using one of these strategies:


Develop questions to guide the research process with SOS The Question Is (CDN Version).


Analyze primary source photographs and text with SOS See-Think-Wonder (CDN Version).


Share what they’ve learned by creating a SOS Paper Slide (CDN Version) videos.


Master Core Content

Students interact with large quantities of information and must be able to identify and retain key terms and knowledge. They can accomplish this by creating connections and links between ideas, associating emotions with the information, and identifying the information as meaningful, authentic, or useful for their purposes or goals.

Students can develop these skills by using one of these strategies:


Identify the most important concept or piece of information from a media selection with SOS Whittle It Down (CDN Version).


  Make text-to-self connections with the topic of study using SOS Connect the Dots (CDN Version).

Take Ownership of Learning

Students need opportunities to learn how to manage their time, take notes, work collaboratively with others, and use technology as a learning tool.

Students can develop these skills by using one of these strategies:


Take focused and concise notes using SOS 3-2-1 Pyramid (CDN Version)


Practice working collaboratively to synthesize material with SOS Placemat (CDN Version)


Personalize the process of organizing and making sense of information with SOS Sketchnotes (CDN Version)

Become Proficient With a Range of Learning Strategies

Students need many different opportunities to explore, engage in, and make sense of multimodal resources. Immerse them in using a variety of instructional strategies and teach them to select strategies for themselves based on their learning goal.


Synthesize information with SOS 6 Word Story (CDN Version).


Analyze relationships between key vocabulary and content addressed in a media selection with SOS Concept Circles (CDN Version).


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