Scaffolding; Show and Tell


“Scaffolding is breaking up the learning into chunks and providing a tool, or a structure, with each chunk.”

There are several scaffolding strategies, like:

  • Show and tell
  • Tap into prior knowledge
  • Give time to talk
  • Pre teach vocabulary
  • Use visual tools
  • Pause, ask, questions, pause, review

Let’s have a look at the first strategy, “Show and tell”, used in a reading lesson. The teacher starts with modeling. He shows and tells his students what he thinks and does:

  • What do I know about this topic?
  • What do I think I will learn about this topic?
  • Do I understand what I just read?
  • Do I have a clear picture in my head about this information?
  • What more can I do to understand this?
  • What were the most important points in this reading?
  • What new information did I learn?
  • How does it fit in what I already know?

The teacher reads the text aloud, the student reads the same text silently. “At certain points the teacher stops and “thinks aloud” answers to some of the preselected questions. (…) As students become familiar with the think aloud process, they may work individually or in small groups.”


A Dutch video about using scaffolding strategies in the classroom:


And another Dutch video about the strategy “Show and Tell”:

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