Task Engagement: Ability to connect the task and new content to existing knowledge, skills, experiences, interests, and concerns.

What is task engagement? Watch the first three minutes of this video and see a classic example:

Anticipation Guide:

Anticipation Guide:

Using the Anticipation/Reaction Guide, students will make predictions based upon prior knowledge and evaluate those predictions after exposure to new information.


Advance Organizers

An Advance Organizer helps to organize new material by outlining, arranging and sequencing the main idea of the new material based on what the learner already knows.


Brainstorming is a large or small group activity which encourages children to focus on a topic and contribute to the free flow of ideas.

Carousel Brainstorming

To activate students' prior knowledge of a topic or topics through movement and conversation.

Generating & Testing Hypotheses

Across content areas and grade levels, inquiry in the classroom turns native curiosity to the learner's advantage.

This helps students establish a purpose for reading and create guiding questions while they read. It can also be used for transition to writing as they make meaning about what they have read.

Hot Seat*

in this activity, several students will be asked to sit in the "Hot Seat" and answer questions related to the topic of study.

Possible Sentences

Possible Sentences takes what students know of a topic and their familiarity with the English language sentence structure to activate prior knowledge of a topic. After new information is introduced through the use of cognitive teaching strategies, possible sentences are re-evaluated for accuracy.

Talking Drawings

In this activity, students will activate prior knowledge by creating a graphic representation of a topic before the lesson. After engaging in learning about that topic, students will re-evaluate their prior knowledge by drawing a second depiction of their topic. They will then summarize what the different drawing say to them about what they learned.


Think-Pair-Share is a strategy designed to provide students with "food for thought" on a given topics enabling them to formulate individual ideas and share these ideas with another student.

Two Minute Talks*

During Two Minute Talks, students will share with a partner by brainstorming everything they already know (prior knowledge) about a skill, topic, or concept. In doing so, they are establishing a foundation of knowledge in preparation for learning new information about the skill, topic, or concept.

Walk Around Survey*

In this activity, students are given a topic of study and asked to move around the room for the purpose of conversing with other students. During these conversations, students will share what they know of the topic and discover what others have learned. Teachers can also repeat this activity as a transition to writing to help students evaluate what they have learned from reading.

Word Cloud

Task Analysis: Ability to understand and explain the task’s prompt and rubric.

TAP Worksheet

TAP (Topic, Audience, Purpose) -Students look at the prompt to determine what their essay’s main topic is (topic), to whom they are writing (audience) , and the main idea/thesis (purpose).

Tap Planner.pdf
Tap Planner.pdf
Tap Planner.pdf

OWL Purdue Lesson on Understanding the Prompt

This resource covers responding to the writing prompt, beginning with understanding the prompt and what it is asking you to do.

Understanding Key Words in Essay PromptsTexas A & M

Texas A & M provides clear definitions of keys