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Spotlight on Strategies:AEIOU

Students record a key word or phrase to each of the letters in the acronym AEIOU where A=adjective; E=emotion; I=interesting; O=oh!; U=um?

Big idea

As students are developing their ability to interpret information, particularly learners developing English as a second language, it is important that we provide multiple paths for them to express what they see, know, and wonder about content being covered. Jim Cumminsʼ research featuring the four quadrants of scaffolding students from BICS to CALPS, combined with an instructional strategy like AEIOU, allows learners of all levels to contribute to the conversation.

Overview of strategy



video segment, paper, pencil/pen

  • Preview the video segment and select appropriate points at which to pause for students to jot notes.
  • Show video segment. Note: As students watch the video, do not have them take notes. If they look down to take notes, they will be missing content.
  • Pause the video every few minutes for them to jot down their thoughts related to the following categories:

    A = Adjective: List a word or two that describes something you saw or learned

    E = Emotion: Describe how a particular part of the segment made you feel

    I = Interesting: Write something you found interesting about the content/topic

    O = Oh!: Describe something that caused you say "Oh!"

    U = Um?: Write a question about something you learned or want to learn more about

  • Pause at the predetermined points to allow students 60 seconds to add information to their list.
  • When the video concludes, have students share with a partner their A-E-I-O-U statements.
  • Regroup as a class and have students share their favourite parts
Sum it up

This strategy provides scaffolding that helps students look for and remember key ideas about the information presented in the video segment. It also provides a conversation structure for debriefing with classmates and reporting to others, in small groups or as a whole group.

"We are writing letters to @ManUtd player Marcus Rashford using AEIOU #SpotlightOnStrategies to plan"

Twitter @GreetPrimary
More ideas
  • Have students create a vocabulary list of different emotions they experienced while watching the video segment.
  • Each time you use this strategy, have students add to an ongoing list of adjectives that they can refer to as they engage in writing activities throughout the year.

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