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Frayer Model
Click to:
  • Upper elementary and above

  • Expository and narrative texts

  • Vocabulary development

  • Assess/develop/activate prior knowledge

  • Identify characteristics/traits

  • Identify similarities and differences

  • Identify examples and non-examples

  • Link new concept to prior knowledge

  • Make generalizations

  • Writing

  • Analyze the key word or concept you will be presenting to the students. Develop a list of characteristics that are critical to the definition of the word.

  • Introduce the concept and have the students give examples (you may need to use pictures or photographs for younger children).

  • Write examples that the students contribute in a list on the board.

    • Do not write in the diagram of the model yet. Encourage students to add to the list or to challenge examples that have been given

    • Ask the students what the examples have in common. Write their responses in a second list on the board (but not in the model).

  • Have the students read the selection

    • Have students add more examples to the list

    • Circle examples that were not confirmed in their reading.

  • Repeat with the second list.

    • Have students add more characteristics.

    • Circle example that were not confirmed in their reading.

  • Present a Frayer Model to the students (see figure below) and write their examples in the appropriate sections (Examples and Nonexamples).

    • Students may need to do some additional research to determine if some of their examples are or are not reptiles.

  • Discuss each characteristic in the second list.

    • If the characteristic is present in all examples, write it in the Essential Characteristics section.

    • If the characteristic is present in some examples and not in others, write it in the Nonessential Characteristics column (e.g., a specific color, size, or gender).

    • Students may need to do some additional research to determine if some characteristics are essential or nonessential.

    • This research can be done individually or with partners.

  • Students, individually or with partners, write a paragraph using the information in the model to describe the concept of reptiles.

  • When completed, Students share their descriptions with their classmates for discussion. After the discussion, they may revise their paragraphs.

Anchor 1

Complete the steps before presenting the concept to students. Gather materials that will make the concept as visual and as real as possible.

  1. Select a concept that is key to understanding the text.

  2. Analyze the concept:

    • Identify the critical characteristics.

    • Identify the non-critical characteristics.


Using mammal as an example:

  • Critical characteristics

    • body covered by hair, fur, or wool

    • warm-blooded

    • vertebrate

    • mammary glands

    • lungs

    • 4 limbs (arms, legs, flippers, paddles, etc.)

    • give birth to living young

    • (exceptions: duckbilled platypus, spiny anteater)

    • two parents

    • capable of movement

  • Non-critical characteristics

    • (1) color

    • sex/gender

    • size

    • age

    • number of parents after birth

    • dietary habits

    • life span

4 quadrants with center concept mammals. Quantrant 1- critical characterisitcs, quadrant 2 non-critial characteristics, Quadrant 3- Examples, Quadrant 4 non-examples
Anchor 2
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