top of page

SOS Top 10: Developing Literacy

We’re continuing this month’s storytelling theme with a special SOS Top 10 on developing literacy! These instructional strategies can be used in class or modified for remote learning, and support students in building background knowledge, strengthening comprehension, and developing disciplinary vocabulary.

Stimulate Interest & Build Background Knowledge

Can You Guess My 2-1-4?

Combine text and imagery to encourage students to dive deeper into concepts and content to find answers. With this instructional strategy, students build literacy by making evidence-based inferences that lead them to logical conclusions about content with the use of facts, a clue, and images.


Introduce students to a new topic through a collage of images. Help them activate prior knowledge in order to make connections between images before making predictions about the content and upcoming unit of study.

The Envelope Please

Help students use prior knowledge and clues to make predictions about a topic of study. Discussion and reflection solidify understanding and allow students to make stronger connections between different sources of information.


Strengthening Comprehension & Meaningful Interaction with Text

Read All About It

Encourage students to interact deeply with the audio and transcript of a video segment before viewing the visuals. Read All About It provides a scaffold to encourage students to reread text multiple times to ensure they comprehend it.


Inspired by the well-known kids game, the Telephone instructional strategy lets students work collaboratively to practice and internalize comprehension gleaned from reading or viewing content.

Students work with a partner to practice speaking and listening skills while synthesizing key ideas and details presented in a DE resource.

There's An App for That

Discerning the differences between and the reasons behind various authors’ purposes is important in comprehension and critical thinking.

With this strategy, students read a text and identify the author’s purpose, then prove it using text-based evidence to support their thinking.


Build & Develop Vocabulary

Concept Circles

Use this instructional strategy to build a foundational understanding of new terms and how they connect to each other and the central concept you’re teaching.

Select a video, audio clip, or reading passage and have students use the Concept Circle graphic organizer to then visualize and analyze the relationship between vocabulary words within the content.

Fold, Draw, Learn

Build vocabulary while supporting visual and kinesthetic learners with Fold, Draw, Learn. Students will develop the ability to use context clues by paying careful attention to a video and interpreting a drawing made by another student.

Vocabulary Stepping Stones

Have students consider vocabulary within the context of a video to encourage better understanding. Introduce vocabulary words before students watch a video, then have them listen for the terms and sequence them according to when they are mentioned.

Lastly, prompt students to discuss the topics from the video, incorporating the vocabulary words and how they were used in context.

Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt

Transform a passive learning experience into an active learning opportunity with the Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt.

Identify vocabulary words and then have students demonstrate their understanding by clapping and defining the terms when they hear them in a DE video.

bottom of page