Implementation

Be the change

UDL Guidelines - Version 2.0: Examples and Resources

Checkpoint 3.1: Activate or supply background knowledge

I. Provide Multiple Means of Representation

Comprehension

Key Considerations

  • How does this help learners meet the goal?
  • How does this account for the variability of all learners?
  • Does this help learners connect to what they already know?

 

udlcenter [at] udlcenter [dot] org (Can you think of other examples/resources that illustrate this checkpoint? Tell us!)

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Example/Resource Why UDL?
Image of a person using their foot to push a shovel into the ground

Digging for Answers

From the Smithsonian Institute, Digging for Answers is a quiz game that allows students to test their research skills. If students answer incorrectly, they are prompted with a link to background knowledge that will help them to find the correct answer. 

Age Group: K-8
Content Area: History
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? Digging for Answers provides a great example of an activity that encourages the acquisition of new knowledge by supplying access to appropriate background knowledge.

 

Sreen shot of the homepage to Windows to the Universe showing planets and the solar systems

Windows to the Universe

This interactive, educational website about our universe and planetary systems was created by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and is supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among others.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: Science
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet Connection

Why UDL? Embedded links on each page and in the glossary provide access to further knowledge. These links provide students with immediate access to relevant background information that will facilitate comprehension of a new subject.

See also:
2.1: Clarify vocabulary and symbols

8.2: Vary demands and resources to optimize challenge

 The Exploratorium logo in white font that reads 'The museum of science, art, and human perception'

Exploratorium After School Activities

Take a look through the online activities of the Exploratorium, a San Francisco musuem with a sharp focus on education. The "Going Further" option for each activity suggests extension activities and offers links to access relevant background knowledge. Click on "About the Exploratorium" to access the full website and more educational activities.

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: Science
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Why UDL? The "Going Further" option is a perfect example of providing options to activate background knowledge. 

See also:
5.1: Use multiple media for communication

A picture of a brown flower, butterfly, and bird with a green background.

Activities to Activate Background Knowledge

Check out this post from the ELLClassroom blog for ideas on activities that will activate students' background knowledge. 

Age Group: K-12+
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to access site; many of the strategies suggested require no technology.

Why UDL? Strategies suggested on the ELL Classroom blog, such as "brain dump" and "vocabulary checklist," seek to anchor instruction by activating relevant background knowledge.

The ESOL logo in a white font with a green background.

Teaching Strategies: Activating Prior Knowledge

ESOL Online has a helpful list of strategies for activating prior knowledge that are useful for multilingual or monolingual classrooms.

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to access video; many of the strategies modeled require no technology.

Why UDL? The strategies listed on the ESOL site, such as concept maps, KWL charts, and graphic organizers, are effective examples of ways to activate and supply students' background knowledge. 

The Teacher Vision logo in red with a peach background with a picture of an apple.

TeacherVision: Activating Background Knowledge

TeacherVision provides teachers with a rationale for activating background knowledge, ideas for classroom implementation, ways to measure success, and lesson plans. Use this site as a way to enhance your own background knowledge!

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to access video; many of the strategies modeled require no technology.

Why UDL? The information and strategies listed on this site are great examples of activating students' background knowledge.

 

Last Updated: 01/03/2012

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