Teaching Strategies for Phase 1

The following 4 steps can be used during Phase 1 to develop the collaborative culture.

Step 1: Provide Information to Stimulate students’ Thinking on a Problem

Information can be provided as follows:

  • Short presentations by students on the information they gathered in the initial task;
  • A short talk by the teacher on the problem/issue;
  • Presentations of other materials such as video clips, newspaper articles, readings, survey reports, photos and comics.
  • Experience from firsthand activities, e.g. field trips, visits, games.

Step 2: Scaffold Students’ Group Inquiry

Students should engage in group inquiry, which can be facilitated by a number of strategies, the following are some examples:

Think cards and worksheet may include the following probes:

  • KWL – “What I know”, “ What I want to know” & “What I learned”
  • “I need to understand”
  • “New learning”
  • “My idea”/ “My theory”
  • “My evidence is” / “How to explain this?”
  •  “How does it work?”
  • “How is it possible?”
  • “I agree”
  • “I disagree”
  • “Putting ideas together”
  • “How could this be better?”

Examples from a workshop:

mytheoryt needunderstand


Example: Ms. Lau & Ms. Chan (English teachers from St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School (Po Kong Village Road)



a. Reciprocal Teaching (相互教學)

It is a teaching technique developed base on constructivist theories to promote comprehension and thinking skills. There are four strategies for reciprocal teaching, namely ‘Question’, ‘Summarize’, ‘Clarify’ and ‘Predict’. Teachers first demonstrate to students how to use these four strategies through a discussion with the students. Afterwards, students take turns to role-play as the little teacher of the group to lead the discussion. The strategies are briefly explained below:

(1)    Question – students generate questions about the key concepts of the reading

(2)   Summarize – students use their own words to express the main ideas of the content

(3)   Clarify – students try to solve the difficult problems they encountered during reading, e.g. clarifying the meaning of the words and concepts

(4)   Predict – based on prior knowledge and known information, students make predictions of the later part of the reading content and decide on the direction of further reading

Example: Ms. Chan (A Chinese Teacher from YOT Tin Ka Ping Secondary School)


b. Other instructional methods
  • Think-Pair-Share
  • Jigsaw learning
  • Concept mapping

Example: Ms. Ho (A Physics teacher from ELCHK Lutheran Secondary School) – Concept map drawn by students studying Physics

concept-mapStep 3: Make Ideas Public on a Knowledge Building Wall

After discussion, students should have formulated their own ideas and some questions for further inquiry. They should be asked to share their work with the whole class with the use of Knowledge Building Wall. This activity is similar to and prepares students for writing notes on KF.

There are two commonly used ways to make a  knowledge building wall:

a. Using big posters

Each group can write one or several questions they want to examine most on a big poster and post it onto the board for everyone to see. Teachers may ask each group to present and explain why they think those are questions worth for inquiry.

poster1 poster2 poster3b. Using post-it notes

Knowledge building cannot be learnt in one single lesson. Knowledge Building should be experienced continuously, if it is to bring changes to students’ way of learning. To provide students with KB experience in everyday learning, teachers may consider assigning one of the classroom notice boards as the permanent “Knowledge-Building Wall”, on which students are encouraged to write about their opinions on certain issues regularly and give feedbacks or question other classmates’ ideas, thereby simulating a KF discussion.

Examples from our network teachers:


Step 4: Help Students to Choose Questions for Discussion and Inquiry on Knowledge Forum

Teachers facilitate students to distinguish which are good students’ questions for inquiry. Good questions usually…

  • Do not ask for descriptive or factual information and Do not have a clear and simple answer
  • Are Broad, ill-structured and multifaceted
  • Are Embedded with various concepts and values related to the curriculum (big ideas)
  • Are Authentic and related to daily life
  • Can arouse students’ interest

step4 step4-1

Students then discuss and decide on the inquiry questions. Although questions emerge from students, teachers can facilitate in ways so that these questions still relate to key curriculum concepts. One way to achieve this, is by facilitating students to categorise these questions into several key areas for further discussion on Knowledge Forum.