Ideas & Strategies - Cues, Questions & Advance Organizers

Cues and Questions

QAR student organizer

Another QAR organizer

QAR powerpoint







Advance Organizers

  • Expository - Use expository advance organizers because they describe the new content that will be introduced.

Go to Your Corner: This activity allows students to share their knowledge on a topic. Choose a topic with up to four dimensions. Assign each dimension to a corner of the room, labeling the corners with a word or picture. Ask the students a question and they will go to the correct corner of the room. (adapted from 99 Ideas and activities for Teaching English Learners: The SIOP Model, 2006)

Example: To introduce fact and opinion, you can label two corners of the room (fact and opinion). Read a statement and have students walk to the corner they believe is correct. For example, if you read, "Dogs are the best pet." all students should walk to the opinion corner. This is a quick way to assess prior knowledge on a topic.

  • Narrative - Use narrative advance organizers to let students know what they are going to be learning in a story format.
  • Skimming

SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review): engages students in each step of the reading process, including skimming

Picture Walk -- Click on link to Project Connect to see a video illustrating a Picture Walk. video from Project Connect

KWL Chart (pdf): KWL Charts are particularly helpful for ELLs because it helps activate prior knowledge, gives the students a purpose for reading and allows them an opportunity to reflect on the reading and summarize. Click on link to Project Connect to see a video illustrating a teacher using a KWL Chart. video from Project Connect

Concept Web (pdf): ELLs need explicit instruction on how to make connections and show relationships. The graphic organizer makes the input comprehensible because they can see how the peripheral words all work together to form the meaning of the concept.

Flow Chart/Sequencing: ELLs often do not understand the transitional clues in language and benefit greatly from seeing a visual representation of a sequence. Click on link to Project Connect to see a video illustrating a graphic organizer of a sequence. video from Project Connect

Word Sorts (pdf taken from Students categorize words or phrases to introduce a topic.

For more information and videos go to the Project Connect Web site at