🍎 PD – Writing Concept Attainment Lessons

Part 2 of Models of Instruction

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Learn to write a lesson using the Concept Attainment model.

In a Concept Attainment lesson, we give students examples and non-examples of a concept -- without telling them what that concept is. They must look for patterns to try to explain why the examples are grouped into two categories. In the end, you reveal the reasons as well as the academic vocabulary, the names of the concepts.

  1. Give students three examples in column A, then three in column B.
  2. Allow students to think, then discuss with a group or partner.
  3. Give students three more ungrouped examples down the middle.
  4. Students predict where these will go, again discussing with a partner or group.
  5. You reveal the true groupings.
  6. Have a whole group discussion in which students attempt to describe how they made their predictions.
  7. Reveal the real differences in the columns.
  8. Reveal the academic vocabulary.
  9. Students can then practice the concept with a worksheet or textbook.


  1. First, we show three examples of the concept and three non-examples. Pick these carefully and beware of setting up false patterns.
  2. Next, we show students three ungrouped items and they decide which are examples and which are non-examples.
  3. Finally, we reveal the correct placements, discuss the patterns students were noticing, and reveal the concept.

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