Instructional Design Strategies


Media Templates

Ignite! Learning's use of media templates create repeatable ways of teaching content for the variety of multiple intelligences and learning styles in the classroom while also modeling thinking skills such as, cause-and-effect, part-to-whole, compare-and-contrast, and many, many more. Seventy-two different templates modeling thinking skills across all three subjects: Math, Science, and Social Studies. These templates help students make stronger connections among concepts, improving both learning and retention, while also allowing them to practice a cognitive skill transferable across content.


Media Deconstruction

Ignite! Learning's digital content solution contains over 3,000 academically scripted media pieces, each one instructionally designed to be engaging, teach to different learning styles, and model different thinking skills. All of the Ignite! Learning media is augmented with rigorous print material to give students even more practice gaining fluency with a concept.


Because stories demand active meaning-making, narrative contexts improve how well the lesson is learned.
Click below to watch a media piece that shows how narrative makes the concept of economics more memorable.


Humor is especially effective when it is intrinsic, that is, when the humor is not layered onto the lesson, but comes from the concept being taught. The song "Your Phenotype is Showing" strikes students funny in a way that makes the concept more memorable, because (duh!) of course your phenotype is showing! The word "phenotype" means a trait that's visible!

Challenging Questions

Teachers know that thought-provoking questions are a natural hook for students because the students become engaged as they actively think through possible answers. In this example, students are asked to consider that if the Sun exerts the most powerful gravitational force in our solar system, why isn't Earth pulled toward the Sun and fiery doom?
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Pop Culture Formats

Students today are more media savvy than ever, and can readily absorb a lot of information through familiar media genres. Our educational media capitalizes on that by framing some lessons as game shows, reporter on the scene interviews, music videos, etc. This media piece comes from a lesson on geysers and models a television news report.


Because the left brain processes language (such as lyrics), while the right brain processes musical elements (such as rhythm and melody), songs create a whole brain learning experience. This is especially true when the song is paired with onscreen text and images. From rap to pop to folk to blues, the Ignite! curricula contains a wide range of memorable music videos. Watch a music video from the Math lesson on displaying and interpreting data.


Rhyme is a great mnemonic, which is why kids of all ages know that 1492 was the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Not just engaging and fun, but also cognitively "sticky," rhyme is a powerful tool in student comprehension. This song from our Texas history course uses rhyme to help students learn about the Caddo, an important Native American nation from East Texas.
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Metaphor is a fundamental tool for conceptual mapping. Metaphor, and wordplay (from puns to etymologies to connotations), is one of the most important ways we can deeply understand and recall what we learn. In this media piece, thinking of how continents might fit together like pieces of a puzzle provides a deeper insight into continental drift and plate tectonics.
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