Strengthen students’ ability to understand and retain new information by activating their prior knowledge. They have strong responses to this instructional strategy because they can relate new concepts to those that are already familiar.
Our infographic presents some practical ideas for activating background knowledge and capturing student interest.
How to Activate Prior Knowledge
Building upon existing neural pathways makes it easier for students to integrate new information. Strategies for capturing their interest and tapping into their existing knowledge related to the content include:
Use a K-W-L chart (what a student Knows, Wants to know, and Learned).
Show picture books to share visual images related to a new content area.
Complete a class brainstorm web.
Ask students to write a personal reflection or journal entry on the new topic.
Incorporate interdisciplinary learning into lessons.
Adjust curriculum to make content personally relevant to students’ lives.
Teaching to Optimize Student Growth
Discover more strategies and activities that help students understand and remember content in our white paper Neuroplasticity and the Whole Child Approach to Teaching.