In Mastery Teaching, Madeline Hunter designed an instructional model with seven elements. Sousa has expanded these to nine, but the elements will sound very familiar to those who know Hunter's work. What follows is taken directly from Sousa (2000), pages 277-278.

  1. Anticipatory Set. This strategy captures the students' focus. Almost any technique to get their initial attention can be valuable. Vary the initial attention-getter to provide novelty, and remember the power of humor in getting attention and setting a positive emotional climate for the lesson to follow. Once you get their initial attention, the rest of the set is most effective when it


  2. (a) allows students to remember an experience that will help them acquire the new learning (positive transfer)

    (b) involves active student participation (while avoiding "guessing" games during prime-time-1,

    (c) is relevant to the learning objective

  3. Learning Objective.  This is a clear statement of what the students are expected to accomplish during the learning episode, including the levels of difficult and complexity, and should include


  4. (a) a specific statement of the learning

    (b) the overt behavior that demonstrates whether the learning has occurred and whether the appropriate level of complexity has been attained

  5. Purpose.  The states why the students should accomplish the learning objective.  Whenever possible, it should refer to how the new learning is related to the students' prior and future learnings to facilitate positive transfer and meaning.

  6. Input.  This is the information and the procedures (skills) that students will need to acquire in order to achieve the learning objective.  It can take many forms, including reading, lecture, cooperative learning groups, audiovisual presentations, the Internet, and so on.

  7. Modeling.  Clear and correct models help students make sense of the new learning and establish meaning.  Models must be given first by the teacher and be accurate, unambiguous, and noncontroversial.  Nonexamplars might be included later to show contrast

  8. Check for Understanding.  This refers to the strategies the teacher will use during the learning episode to verify that the students are accomplishing the learning objective.  The check could be in the form or oral discussion, written quiz, think-pair-share, or any other overt format that yields the necessary data.  Depending on the results of these checks, the teacher may provide more opportunities for input, reteach, or move on.

  9. Guided Practice.  During this time, the student is applying the new learning in the presence of the teacher who provides immediate and specific feedback on the accuracy of the learner's practice.

  10. Closure.  This is the time when the mind of the learner can summarize for itself its perception of what has been learned.  The teacher gives specific directions for what the learner should mentally process and provides adequate time to accomplish it.  This is usually the last opportunity the learner has to attach sense and meaning to the new learning, both of which are critical requirements for retention.  Daily closure activities can take many forms, such as using synergy strategies or journal writing.  Close activities for the end of a unit might include writing plays, singing songs, reciting poetry, playing quiz games, and so on.

  11. Independent Practice.   After the teacher believes that the learners have accomplished the objective at the correct level of difficulty and complexity, students try the new learning on their own to enhance retention and develop fluency.

Note:  not every learning episode must include all of these elements.  They may be spread out over days or even weeks if the learning objective is extremely complex.