Concept Attainment Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
How do people learn? Use this video-based lesson plan to define the term 'concept attainment.' Then have students explore and apply concept attainment in a hands-on activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define concept attainment
  • explain how concept attainment is used to learn
  • demonstrate understanding of concept attainment


  • 1 hour


  • Paper
  • Index cards

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.


  • Show students a concept attainment model and ask them to observe and conclude. Discuss answers.
  • Tell students they just participated in a learning model called concept attainment. Share and discuss prior knowledge.
  • Start the video lesson Concept Attainment: Model & Strategy and pause at 0:58. Discuss:
    • What skills does the concept attainment model use?
    • Are there differing levels of concept attainment?
    • Besides pictures, what can be used in the concept attainment model?
    • How does the concept attainment model work?
  • Restart the video and pause again at 2:46. Ask:
    • Explain why concept attainment works using an example.
    • When and why do educators use the concept attainment model?
    • What is your experience with the model?
    • Does the model work for you?
  • Resume the video and allow it to play to the end.
  • Ask students to talk to a partner about the process of using concept attainment. Have them recall the three tips and list them on the board.
  • Answer any remaining questions.


  • Students will create their own concept attainment model. Allow them to brainstorm a theme, then draw images or words. Attach to paper or index cards.
  • Have students display their concept attainment model on their desktop and number their work (one for each student.)
  • Now have students take out a sheet of paper and number it, one for each student.
  • Instruct students to walk around the classroom, visiting each desk. Students should record their guess for the themes on their paper.
  • When finished, have each student share their thinking as others correct their guesses. Discuss and offer feedback.


  • Have students research how the concept attainment model is used in instructional preparation.
  • Research other work and philosophies by Jerome Bruner.
  • Instruct students to research other cognitive theorists. Compare and contrast.

Related Lessons

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Filtered by: {{}}   {{}}   {{}}   Clear All Filters
Courses: {{}}