18: Lesson Plan Model for Cognitive Engagement





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Lesson Plan Model for Cognitive Engagement:
  • Explore: Students notice and gather sensory input.
  • Describe: Students make connections with prior knowledge
  • Explain: Teacher clarifies and builds on student associations, introduces new concepts and asks students what sense they are making of it all
  • Demonstrate: Students analyze and integrate information to demonstrate understanding by applying it
  • Evaluate: Students and teacher reflect on and evaluate effectiveness of lesson, how to improve it, and what questions come to mind as a result of learning experiences
For more scaffolding ideas related to specific cognitive structures, see:
This lesson plan model can be used to design scaffolding activities that practice using cognitive structures to develop deep understanding of content.  This model may support EL learners because it connects new knowledge to immediate experiences and prior knowledge.


Preparation Steps
  • Analyze skills embedded in standards and in project context
  • Identify which skills could benefit from this lesson plan model
  • Design learning experiences that align to targeted standards and work well with lesson plan model
  • Create and gather resources related to lesson plan
  • Identify cognitive structures that relate to targeted standards: See 16: Cognitive structures part 1 of 2 and 17: Cognitive structures part 2 of 2.
  • Use targeted cognitive structures to plan specific open-ended questions that encourage students to practice targeted cognitive structures
  • Design formative assessments that can be used to determine how students are learning new content
Early Implementation Steps
  • Implement lesson plans based on lesson plan model
  • Use formative assessment results to give students timely feedback and to make adjustments to lesson plan
Advanced Implementation Steps
  • Design lesson plans that simultaneously address targeted standards, related cognitive structures, and related project products
  • Integrate lesson plan model with skills embedded in 6 facets of understanding
  • Teach students cognitive structures and to be aware of when they are using them to learn new content



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