May The Frayer Model Live Forever

The Frayer model helps students build a deeper understanding of social studies topics, vocabulary words, and concepts. The flexible four-quadrant format makes it easy to quickly adapt Frayer lessons for whatever students are learning about in your class.

In the past, I have used the Frayer model so that students could evaluate the successes and failures of the individual figures we are studying. Here are some examples with WWII Spies. My students have used the Frayer model to compare similarities and differences between other exciting topics like — economists. I like to use this template when asking students to identify stages in the Hero’s Journey or when characterizing a historical figure as a particular Archetype. I have even used it to get students to reflect on their work habits and grade in my class.

Recently, I modified a Frayer deck for students to use to write interview questions that they could ask a Holocaust survivor. I told them that I was looking to see evidence that they had learned significant details from our video lectures. I asked the students to use these Bloom’s question starters. Specifically, I wanted them to think deeply and write at least four questions for each stage with a total of twenty-four questions. After they finished, they presented them to a thought partner. Each team identified and highlighted the three best questions, which they posed to Rose Schindler, whose testimony was recorded by Story File. Here’s an example.

Many of my students spoke about this assignment during their student-led conferences. I was impressed with the thoughtfulness of their questions and the depth of knowledge they reported gaining from this project. Thank you, Dorothy Frayer. May your model live forever! To see more examples of the Frayer Model in Social Studies, pick up our book.

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