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Teach Me: Student-Led Instruction Strategies

Rosshalde Pak


Student Led InstructionTeaching tools, tricks, and ideas are an essential component of a teacher’s ‘arsenal’ when it comes to having engaged students and strong teachable moments. 


The one tool that I rely heavily upon is a concept I termed as ‘Teach Me,’ though you may heard it called by other terms. Simply,  the idea behind Teach Me is when the teacher lets the student teach a concept to them. 


The student goes through the whole concept, or study, giving it to you in extreme detail.  What it basically means is that your student becomes the teacher; teaching it to you. 

Benefits of the "Teach Me" Learning Exercise

  • Lets you see where a child needs reinforcement
  • Teach Me is a way to put the power of learning into the hands of your student/learner
  • Allows students to be the teacher
  • Allows, and gets students, to recall -- in detail what they have learned
  • Gives them ownership over the learning
  • Increases a student's verbal communication skills
  • Gives a student multiple ways to remember and retain information that they have learned

4 Specific Goals of Student-led Instruction

1. Have the student be able to understand what they are learning in the greatest detail possible. 

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2. Empower a child with their learning; to show off what they know and be the one in charge, to be the one explaining it to you, their teacher.  It’s a sense of pride and accomplishment for the student.  This can especially true when a child teaches their parent; which doesn’t get to happen very often. 


3. This is a fantastic tool for educators because it allows them to see what their students do and don’t know, what they fully understand, and where the teacher need to fill in the gaps of their learning. 


4. Improve a student’s oral communication skill.


[TeachHUB Recommends: 21st Century Skills PD from the K-12 Teachers Alliance.]

Teach Me in Action: How to Let Your Students Teach You

Have a learner take whatever it is that they are working on and go through all that they know about it.  Ask them questions about the concept, ways to carry it out, what they think of it.  Allow them the time to elaborate it in their own way. 


Don’t correct or offer support or suggestions. This is crucial to the learning process; once a student is admonished, it can become difficult for them to regain the confidence to try it again.  It is just as a student would be engaged with a teacher; it may be difficult for both parties involved – but that’s fine.  The goal is to help your learner learn, take the lead, and build up their confidence.


As the ‘student’ be sure to ask them questions, offer no support or suggestions.  Be sure to ask them for examples, or explanations as to why a particular part is needed.   In the exact same way that when a teacher is explaining a new lesson, their class asks for clarification, examples, ideas, and explanations on how/why a particular concept is the way it is.


Give it a try, you’ll see.  Or, do you already utilize this strategy and just know it by another name?


Share you student-led instruction tips in the comments section!


This article is written by Rosshalde Pak.  She is an Education Entrepreneur in Portland, Oregon.  You can find more of her writings at

Do educators in your school need help with Content Instruction or teaching 21st Century Skills? Contact the K-12 Teachers Alliance to book an expert speaker.