Determine prior knowledge of concept

Determine prior knowledge of concept (Where are my students now?)

Understanding and acknowledging your students’ prior knowledge of the concept

The Quality Teaching model states:

High background knowledge is evident when a task provides students with the opportunities to make connections between their prior knowledge and experience…

Simple strategies such as brainstorming or using graphic organisers will help students generate ideas and describe what they already know about a unit’s central and related concepts. Encourage students to give examples from personal experience and popular culture to illustrate their understandings of the concept.

These strategies and links will assist in determining students’ prior knowledge of a concept, and guide you to a starting point for the teaching and learning activities and assessment in your unit.

  • 2 minutes of ‘write all you know about…’

  • multiple choice, true or false, short answer or online quizzes

  • select and discuss pictures from a collection (conduct a search using Google images, Pinterest or Retronaut)

  • class discussion prompted by short film, video clip, text excerpt, images or quotation

  • use a text that is multi-layered as the basis for a group or class discussion (ref: Thinking Together by Philip Cam 1995, Tell Me by Aidan Chambers 1993)

  • graphic organisers such as a KWL chart or a Y-Chart

  • mind mapping tools such as Text 2 mindmap or FreeMind (found on DER laptops)

  • Venn diagram.