Strategy

State the Facts

UDL 3.1 UDL 3.3

State the Facts is an early learning strategy in which a teacher directly gives students facts, labels and other background knowledge using clear and simple language. As part of the instructional planning process, the teacher reflects upon students’ present knowledge and anticipates potential areas of misunderstanding, including content that is outside students' frame of reference. The teacher then determines which facts, vocabulary, labels and other background knowledge can be directly relayed to students to support clarification or deepen understanding (e.g., “This whole body of land is called a continent. The United States is part of the continent called North America.”). Typically, teachers utilize the State the Facts strategy at the outset of the lesson, so that new knowledge can be built upon the information that is given. As early learners are rapidly building their bases of knowledge, State the Facts is effective in reducing barriers related to unfamiliar items, vocabulary or context. Furthermore, the strategy affords student a purpose for learning, clear expectations and a focal point for instruction.

Implementation Tips

Instructional Planning
Consider what students already know, what information students need and what the objective is for what students will learn. Determine which information can be delivered to students directly and efficiently, and which information needs to be built out as part of a longer lesson.
Preparing Materials
Enhance the State the Facts strategy by preparing supporting materials in advance of instruction. Prepare labels for new terms, or locate visual aides such as images or video clips to use as an adjunct to quickly stating the facts.
Selecting Facts
Activate or supply background knowledge by delivering a limited (e.g, 1 or 2) set of facts toward the beginning of the lesson (e.g., following the “hook”). Determine which facts are essential to learning new content (e.g., vocabulary, context).
Daily Conversations
Use State the Facts during casual exchanges to clarify and define information, words and concepts (e.g., “Are you taking your baby doll to the doctor? A children’s doctor is called a Pediatrician”). Capitalize on in-the-moment opportunities that arise organically.
Extending Learning Opportunities
Expand upon information presented in texts, conversations and instruction to clarify vocabulary and concepts while promoting connections (e.g., “Little bear’s porridge was just right. Porridge is oatmeal or cereal cooked in warm milk”).
Ask Questions
Invite students to ask questions to promote opportunities for clarification and understanding. Use students’ feedback to inform instruction and give additional information to clarify confusion.
Supporting Social-Emotional Learning
Utilize State the Facts to support students' social-emotional growth (e.g., "Empathy means we try to understand one another's feelings. How do you think your friend felt when you grabbed the toy?"). In addition to learning academic content, early learners are rapidly learning critical social competencies.

Examples

Introducing New Material
Students have been learning about farm life, animals, and crops. While preparing a lesson on crops that come from farms, the teacher anticipates that some of the vocabulary words may be challenging for students. In advance of the lesson, the teacher prepares labeled picture cards to visually define and represent each new vocabulary word. The teacher begins the lesson by activating prior knowledge, asking students to list fruits and vegetables that grow on a farm. Next, the teacher introduces the new words to students using the pre-planned visual aides. The teacher points to the picture, “This is called a cauliflower. A cauliflower is a vegetable that is planted in the ground and is grown on a farm. It looks like broccoli, but it is white in color instead of green, and tastes a little different.”
Student-Driven Learning Opportunities
During free play, the teacher circulates the room, observing students’ engagement in various centers, listening to students’ conversations and taking note of students' interactions. The teacher observes two students building a tower in the block center. The students are challenging themselves to make the tower as high as they can without it falling. The teacher approaches the students and initiates a conversation to give information. The teacher tells the students, “Did you know that the tallest building in the United States is the One World Trade Center in New York?” This sparks the students’ interest, so the teacher points to New York on the map, promoting a visual connection to the new information.

Related Strategies