INFOhio Web Site
Module 1 - Cues, Questions & Advanced Organizers

As many of the district and building leadership teams identify improving instruction for all students as a goal or strategy in their Ohio Improvement Process (OIP graphic) plan, we’d like to turn our attention to some high yield strategies and resources that are available through INFOhio. Many of you may be familiar with Dr. Robert Marzano’s Instructional Strategies. These are research-based strategies with proven results on how they affect and improve student achievement when used in a classroom setting. Let’s begin by looking at the instructional strategies of Module 1, Cues, Questions and Advanced Organizers.

Examining prior knowledge, brainstorming and developing initial questions are all important parts of the Discovery and Develop an Overview phase of the DIALOGUE inquiry process. Teachers often use the techniques of cues, questions, and advance organizers to help students activate prior knowledge and deepen understanding of current learning. Research shows that cues and questions should focus on what is important and should focus on higher-level questions. Marzano states, "Advance organizers are organizational frameworks teachers present to students prior to teaching new content to prepare them for what they are about to learn. Advance organizers take the surprise out of what is to come, help students retrieve what they already know about a topic, and focus them on the new information."

Marzano's recommendations for classroom practice include:

  • focusing important information
  • using explicit cues
  • asking inferential and analytic questions
  • using expository and narrative advance organizers
  • teaching students how to use graphic advance organizers

Research has shown that 21st century skills are critical to learning of all types. Module 1, Cues, Questions and Advanced Organizers, focuses on two specific instructional strategies -- activating prior knowledge and developing questions for acquiring deeper content understanding and new knowledge. INFOhio has produced this video in partnership with Montgomery County Educational Service Center to demonstrate how developing these skills might be integrated into a lesson or unit. Watch the video now and later use the Questions that accompany the video located under the Resources tab to reflect on what you learned.

Click below to watch the Module 1 video. For your convenience, the video has been divided into chapters. To download each chapter, use the links below the video list.

Video Acknowledgements: Script written by Ann E. Tepe, Educational Consultant; Video produced by Kern Video Productions; Thanks to Centerville City School District and Montgomery Co ESC.

Download Module 1 Videos:

Full Video (14:00)
Download - Flash (flv) version - 153MB
Download - MPEG (mpg) version - 738MB
Chapter 1 - Introduction (00:53)
Download - Flash (flv) version - 7MB
Download - MPEG (mpg) version - 13MB
Chapter 2 - Planning Meeting (6:34)
Download - Flash (flv) version - 42MB
Download - MPEG (mpg) version - 94MB
Chapter 3 - Cues, Questions & Advanced Organizers (05:19)
Download - Flash (flv) version - 37MB
Download - MPEG (mpg) version - 76MB
Chapter 4 - Reflection (01:12)
Download - Flash (flv) version - 8MB
Download - MPEG (mpg) version - 17MB

Discussion Questions Related to the Module 1 Video MS Word and PDF [1pg]
Discussion Questions Worksheet version MS Word and PDF [2pgs]

INFOhio Resources

Research Project Calculator has valuable information located Support Materials (right hand menu) and then under Resources. Look for :

  • What’s My Angle? Generating Topics and Research Questions (graphic organizer)
  • Narrowing a Topic: Using a General to Specific Triangle (graphic organizer)
  • KWL and Q Chart—This exercise may be used to help students record what they know and what to learn about a topic.
Further explanation of the Research Project Calculator can be found in the Learning Commons 21 Essential Things #3.

Utilize EBSCOhost’s Page Composer as an Advanced Organizer. Create a page with information related to new learning that students will be investigating. Post it and give student’s the address to use to find the organizer. To learn more about Page Composer, select the links below:

You will find the above links and many other links to helpful resources on INFOhio's Help Resources page.

Further explanation of EBSCOhost can be found in the Learning Commons 21 Essential Things #4.

World Book Advanced has Pathfinders for previewing to begin to plan out possible cues and questioning strategies that might be used to set up the beginning of a lesson.

World Book Student has How to Do Research under Research Tools for learning more about research skills and generating quality questions and answers. The first question is What are Research Skills and Why Do I Need Them? and the first few steps are provided below:

Further explanation of World Book Student/World Book Advanced can be found in the Learning Commons 21 Essential Things #10..

Other Resources

Marzano, Robert J. (2007). The art and science of teaching. Alexandria, VA:Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, Robert J. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA:Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, Robert J.  (2003). What works in schools: translating research into action. Alexandria, VA:Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Great Web Sites for Kids

Resources from

Questioning Styles and Strategies video

Asking Questions from the Youth Learn Initiative

Questioning strategies article - Wolf, Dennis Palmer. "The Art of Questioning."Academic Connections; p1-7, Winter 1987.

INQUIRY in the classroom

Creating good questions for reading

Levels of questions in Bloom’s Taxonomy with examples

Collection of ready to use graphic organizers

Video example of a teacher using graphic organizers with students