These Teaching Strategies Increase Participation, Interest, and Motivation


As I’m sure you know, the first step in using teaching strategies is to establish the goals for instruction. With goals in mind, teachers could use any strategy listed here (or elsewhere) to achieve content goals. 

Providing variety to students will help engage interest, enhance motivation, and generally increase the teacher's effectiveness. 

What follows are some of the strategies that I have successfully used in the classroom. Some of these strategies I learned myself through trial and error. And, several of the strategies I learned from other teachers. 

As you will see, many of these strategies call for the teacher to write down definitions or student responses. How you do this is certainly a matter of personal choice--you may write them on the classroom whiteboard, or perhaps write them on an overhead transparency. 

Personally, I type much faster than I can write on the board or on a transparency, so I open Microsoft Word on my laptop and turn on the digital projector that's connected to it. I have found that this makes it easier for students to focus on the output—and it also explains the graphic shown just above. 

Let’s go first to the Quick Links for an overview, and then on to the strategies themselves. 

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You may use the following quick links to go directly to what interests you on this page. You may also scroll down the page manually if you choose to do so. 

The Inductive Teaching Strategy

Inductive teaching begins with the presentation of examples and proceeds in a guided manner to the realization of the point of the lesson. 

The inductive teaching approach maximizes student participation. It's a great way to motivate students and get them focused on the goal for instruction. It also provides opportunities for incidental learning. 

Additionally, this method is probably best suited for teaching concepts or generalizations. Here’s a brief discussion on how to structure an inductive teaching activity

The Concept Attainment Teaching Strategy

The concept attainment method is a more focused inductive strategy. Teachers should use this strategy only when teaching a concept in a process-oriented manner. 

Through the process of analyzing data and making inferences that forms the core of this strategy, students become more proficient at processing information. In doing so, they learn how to become more independent as learners. 

Please visit the concept attainment strategy for full details. 

The Deductive Teaching Strategy

Deductive teaching begins with a definition of the concept to be taught and moves toward the examples. 

The deductive teaching approach is usually a quicker way to teach concepts. However, the trade-off for this efficiency is that not as many students will have opportunities to participate. As a result, the possibilities for incidental learning are minimized. 

If you are more content-oriented or have a limited amount of time to teach a concept, you may prefer to use the deductive teaching approach, and this page has full details. 

The Cooperative Unit Teaching Strategy

The cooperative unit strategy is an inductive approach that is suitable for teaching generalizations. Additionally, it is ideally suited for research-oriented tasks such as units of study. 

When using this strategy, the teacher guides students through a series of phases including listing, grouping, labeling, collecting, generalizing, comparing, explaining, and predicting. Upon closure, students develop a deeper understanding of the generalization that they are studying. 

Just as soon as I can wrestle the clock to the floor, I’ll add more details about this strategy into Tools. 

The Mind Mapping Teaching Strategy

This deductive strategy is designed to provide structural organization for interrelated bodies of content in the minds of learners. It begins with broad ideas and works toward smaller, more focused ideas that are related. 

In so doing, students map connections between the material to be learned and what they already know. 

This mind mapping strategy is interactive and sequential. Because of its deductive nature, students proceed from general content, to more specific content, and conclude by generating very specific examples that illustrate that content. 

Throughout this process, teachers and students use graphic organizers to structure each lesson. As you may know from visiting Tools before, there are LOADS of free graphic organizers on this site. 

If you are a new arrival, please see the section labeled, “Graphic Organizer Tools,” located near the bottom of the navigation bar at the left to access them. 

The Inquiry Teaching Strategy

This teaching approach is both deductive and inductive in nature. 

The teacher poses a problem that is purposefully designed to be intriguing and motivating for the kids. Students hypothesize possible solutions to the problem. 

Then, through a process of researching and questioning, students test their hypotheses. This process continues until a hypothesis that accounts for all of the data is found. 

More on the inquiry teaching strategy will follow (see wrestling the clock above). 


I think that we would all agree that teaching is not an easy enterprise. And, it's certainly not going to get any easier as the years go by. 

With so many distractions readily at hand for kids, it's just harder to get their attention these days. 

But, the strategies listed on this page can help. And, these strategies are appropriate for any subject area at any grade level. 

Varying teaching techniques can help students become more engaged and motivated, increasing your effectiveness as a teacher. 

Best wishes always to you and your kids. 

Return to Daily Teaching Tools from Teaching Strategies

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