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Smart Start to Summer School: Frayer a Friend

The EduProtocol Field Guide: 16 Student-Centered Lesson Frames for Infinite Learning Possibilities, by Marlena Hebern and Jon Corippo offers specific examples for how to engage students in activities that result in learning! The SS EdTech TOSAs will be sharing more ideas all summer long... be on the look out for other blog posts!

The Frayer model is a graphic organizer for building student vocabulary, using a chart with four sections: definition, characteristics, examples, and non-examples. Have a smart start this summer by providing opportunities for students to get to know their peers by finding commonalities between classmates!

While the Frayer typically is used for academic vocabulary, use this as a Get to Know You tool and continue to implement it with other academic topics throughout the year.


1. Explain what a Frayer is by showing the model example. Click here for an example. Push out as an "assignment" on Google Classroom.

2. Have students fill out a Frayer on a classmate-- having four facts per category is critical.

3. Share out.

4. Ideas for connecting:

  • Have students form groups based on likes using common themes used in typical Frayers such as sports, music genres, or after-school favorite activities. Designate spots in the room for the groups to meet and share. Change topics after students discuss for a few minutes.

  • Use the Frayer model and Kahoot! to integrate tech for a fun and friendly competition. Read Laura Steinbrink's Blog here.

5. Variations:

  • Use the Frayer to record memories of the first week of summer school. Consider asking students about their favorite memory, least favorite memory, and the characteristics of the class.

6. Key Points:

  • Allow students to find commonalities with other students in more than one way.

  • Use the Frayer all summer long!

7. Adaptations for Littles:

  • Walk students through the Frayer fields.

  • Younger students can draw instead of write.

  • Consider shortening to two fields instead of four.

  • Fill in one field a day over the course of four days.

Thank You,


Laura, Craig, Antonio, and Patricia

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