SOS Top Ten: Become Interested in Learning (McREL International Phase 1)

DID YOU KNOW: Spotlight on Strategies (CDN) instructional ideas are aligned to McREL International’s six-phase model for learning?

This model arranges strategies for teaching and learning into a larger process for helping new knowledge travel through the phases of memory in our students.

In this Top Ten series, we showcase SOS instructional strategy alignment to each of the six phases of the McREL model, helping educators choose the appropriate classroom tactics for aiding the acquisition and recall of information.

This week, we feature Phase 1: Become Interested in Learning, which focuses on capturing interest by sparking student curiosity and facilitating emotional connections to the content.


25 Things You Didn’t Know (CDN Version) encourages students to explore resources to filter out important details. Students identify new information from media resources and share the information in order to create a collaborative list of facts.


QR Code Graffiti Walk (CDN Version) provides an opportunity for movement and group discussion to help students discuss, summarize, and share their observations and ideas.


Vocab Scavenger Hunt (CDN Version) introduces students to vocabulary related to a particular topic. Based on pre-selected words, students will clap during various activities whenever they hear any of the new vocabulary.


Connect the Dots (CDN Version) provides a structure for students as they make text-to-self connections. Students use dots and lines to identify points that connect them to the topic of study.


The Question Is (CDN Version) uses a juxtaposition of the typical Question-Answer format.  The teacher provides a content-related question and asks the students to generate questions that could work with the answer.


Pin It (CDN Version) asks students to categorize and solidify their learning by expressing new knowledge in several areas. Students use sticky notes to post and comment on questions, vocabulary, images, and facts they learned from a media resource.


Hot Potato (CDN Version) asks students to exercise critical thinking and questioning in a fun and engaging way. Students play in teams and use a soft ball to bounce questions back and forth while earning points based on the level of question complexity.


Twenty Questions (CDN Version) asks students to examine a collection of content-related images and develop a series of questions for each image. The development of questions allows students to engage more deeply with the content and encourages them to determine relevancy and deepen understanding as they find answers.


Myth Bustin’ (CDN Version) mimics the scientific inquiry model used on the popular television show, Mythbusters. Students consider statements provided by the teacher and, through the exploration of a variety of resources, determine whether the statements are fact or fiction. This strategy enables students to develop critical thinking, because they are required to examine and use evidence to support their claims.


Paper Chat (CDN Version) allows students to develop critical thinking and communication skills, while ensuring that every student’s thoughts and opinions are heard. Students respond to a question, and then continue the conversation, by communicating on paper about a selected topic.


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