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Advance Organizer: Examples & Concept

Instructor: Mary Firestone

Mary Firestone has a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Firestone has experience as an instructor for English, English Composition, Advanced Composition, Contemporary World Literature, Contemporary Literature, and Creative Writing. She has taught at a variety of schools such as Ottawa University Online, Rasmussen College, Excelsior College, and Southern New Hampshire University.

Instructional tools, such as the advance organizer, are helpful in a scaffolding method of teaching. Learn about the definition and applications of advance organizers, and examine how it is used in an actual teaching method. Updated: 10/02/2022

Advance Organizer

An advance organizer is a type of instructional preparation that links previously learned or known material to a new lesson. Usually the new material is at a more advanced level of the same subject. Familiar terms and concepts are re-introduced and applied again, but at a higher level.


Advance organizers can be applied in different ways. For example:

  • New material can be described using familiar terms
  • Material can be introduced in the form of a story, using familiar terms
  • Students can individually skim previously learned material before moving onto the new material
  • Students can use graphic organizers to make visual connections between what they've learned previously and the new material.


During the presentation of new material, a teacher should integrate the new while also making connections to the old, reminding students of the connections between the two. Key terms should be repeated. After the old material is reviewed and the connections to the new lesson have been made, students can work in groups to define or summarize key points, or draw comparisons between the old and the new. Or, students can choose an application of the old material to something that hasn't been yet mentioned in the lesson.

Topic Examples

Let's say you've taught a unit on conservation and have focused on human pollution of streams and rivers. You might have focused on the River Ganges for the first unit, and decide to begin the second unit by reviewing this material using the same vocabulary (advance organizer).

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