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Cues, Questions, and Advanced Organizers Cues, questions, and advanced organizers are a teaching strategy that many instructors use in order for the student to have a better understanding of the topic before, during, and after the lesson is taught. This method allows students to use previous knowledge in order to understand and make connections to the knew and upcoming lesson(Critical Issues,1995).Teachers find out what students know about the topic or in association with the topic through the use of cues, as demonstrated by Ms. Nelson in the clip below She introduces the students to what they will be learning and focusing on that day, colors, and then goes into asking a question, (who likes fruit?), by asking this question she gets the students to make a connection between the fruit they like and the color associated with that fruit. This video also speaks of other cues that may be used such as an essential question, the question in which the answer will help explain the topic being covered, or chart with certain standards, and as the lesson goes on they are able to answer the question or fulfill the standards on the chart.


Students learn and remember better when they have a background knowledge relevant to the upcoming topic. Using the students prior knowledge the teacher is providing it's students with the ability to connect the curriculum to the students culture and experiences.

Advanced Organizers are used as another way for students to understand and grasp the material hat is being taught to them. They are used to take the information the student already knows and link it to the new material that is being presented in class.

What Advance Organizers ARE:

  • Organizational cues
  • Tools that help connect the known to the unknown
  • Frameworks for helping students understand what it is they'll be learning
There are many ways this can be done, for example you could have the students create a K-W-L chart, What they Know, What they Want to know, and then What they have Learned. This is a very common advanced organizer because it engages the student into making the connections to what they already know and what sticks with them through the material. Pictured below is an example of a K-W-L chart. Mentioned in the above video is another example of an advanced organizer.

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(Learning Buddies,2010)

Implementation of Cues, Questions, and Advanced Organizers
1) Pace Yourself:
Don't expect your students to know what the topic is about. Be sure to ask them before you start the material in order to make sure they have the right understanding.
2) Ask Higher-Level Questions:
Ask questions that require the student to reflect and analyze their experience with the topic in order to get them to get a better understanding of their knowledge.
3) Wait Time Matters:
Allow the students the time to process what you are asking them. Don't rush them, because material won't be retained.
4) Preview the Big Picture:
Provide students with the end result, what you expect them to know and what will be covered in the material, so they don't feel as if they are wondering around aimlessly.
5) Use Multiple Modes:
Be sure to provide the material in different learning styles(Kinesthetic, visual, verbal, etc.) so that the different students are able to fully understand the material.
(Focus on Effectiveness)