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Monday, October 12, 2009

Application of the Concept Attainment Model of Teaching with a Lesson on the Tishrei Holidays

When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. Accordingly our mentees should know about the Concept Attainment Model of Teaching.

To demonstrate this model of teaching, we will now insert a lesson on the concept, things associated with the Tishrei Holidays, into the four-step Direct Instruction Model of Teaching template.

Four Steps of the Concept Attainment Model of Teaching

Enduring Jewish Knowledge: In Judaism we honor sacred times throughout the year.

Content: Things associated with the Tishrei holidays



Teacher and/or Student Behavior


Get students ready to learn, and clarify the objective/s of the lesson.

· Teacher says: “Today we are going to play a mind game called, Guess My Concept.”

· Teacher says, “I’m thinking of an important Jewish concept, and you don’t know what it is. Now, I’m going to give you some clues that I’ll write in the left column labeled: ‘The Examples’, and I’ll give you other clues that I’ll write under the right column that says, ‘Non-Examples’. It’s your job is to guess my concept. You can record your guesses in the middle column. So the objective of today’s lesson is to think about what all the clues in the Examples column have in common. I have created this activity to see if you can connect all of the ideas we have discussed in class during the last two weeks


Provide examples and non-examples of the concept

· Teacher presents two lists for the students. The first list contains examples of the concept chosen by the teacher; the second list contains non-examples of the concept.

· Students study the lists of two or three examples and non-examples given, and inductively guess what the concept might be.


Test for concept attainment

· The teacher presents two or three additional examples and non-examples of the concept.

· Students are invited to give their own examples and non-examples of the concept.


Analyze student thinking regarding the concept

· Teacher invites students to think about, and share how they arrived at the concept (e.g. using trial and error, identifying the roadblocks, scanning simultaneously, etc.)

Sample Concept Attainment Chart With the Examples and Non-Examples

The Examples

(The Correct Clues)

Record Your Guesses or Thoughts in This Column

The Non-Examples

(The Incorrect Clues)

Kol Nidre

Maoz Tzur (Rock of Ages)


Four Cups of Wine


Mishloach Manot





Apples and Honey


Round Challah



Planting Trees


Maror (Bitter Herbs)


Receiving the Torah


Study Torah All Night

On the next post we will share additional applications of the Concept Attainment Model of Teaching in seven different Judaic content areas.

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