Research - Cues, Questions & Advance Organizers

Cueing and Prompting

  • Cueing is particularly useful in setting the stage for behaviors that must occur at a specific time but are easily forgotten. Sometimes students need an additional cue, or a prompt, following the first cue (Woolfolk, 2001, p. 211).
  • Activating prior knowledge is important for everyone, but ELLs need special attention connecting prior knowledge to content presented in a new language (Hill & Flynn, 2006, p. 44).


  • "Questions asked before a learning experience set the purpose for learning. Both questions and generalizations provide built-in motivation because both present students with a question to be answered or a problem to be solved (Orlich, Harder, Callahan & Gibson, 2001)."
  • Higher level questions (pdf) produce deeper learning than lower level
    questions (sample questions for book reviews) (pdf) and increases retention and understanding (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001; Bloom, 1976; Sousa, 2006).
  • Question-response-feedback and tiered questions are most effective with ELLs because they allow the teacher to monitor comprehension and language proficiency, thus allowing students to become successful responders (Hill & Flynn, 2006, p. 45).
  • Teachers should ask questions frequently throughout the lesson to provide students many opportunities to use their new language. Providing wait time will lead to higher-quality responses (Hill & Flynn, 2006, p. 45).
  • Wait time after posing questions improves the quality of responses and increases student participation and engagement (Lemov, 2010).

Advance Organizers

  • Advance organizers are useful for teaching abstract and complex concepts (Orlich, Harder, Callahan & Gibson, 2001).
  • Advance organizers can help students use background knowledge to learn new information (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001).