Concept Formation


Strategy:         Concept Formation

Time:               20-30 minutes

Intent:             The purpose of concept formation as a teaching strategy is to have students examine some objects and think about a method for categorizing objects into concept relevant groupings.


  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Give students materials as a listing of items or words.
  • Have students study the material and, through discussion, organize the materials into categories, being sure to provide rationalization as to why some items belong together and others do not.
    • Encourage your students to use their conversational skills, including listening skills and build on what has already been shared.
  • Draw attention to the diverse observations; different groups will have observed different aspects of the same objects.
    • If you expected your students to form a particular concept or category, and they did not, think of why not.  What background knowledge were they lacking or what other materials might have helped them to form the concept or category you wanted them to form?


  • The concept formation strategy assists students in developing their own understanding of course content.
  • Students are able to find in depth understanding of items as they organize and classify information because it involves the recognition that some objectives or events belong together and others do not.
  • This teaching strategy is a process in which students learn to sort specific experiences into general rules or classes providing them with the opportunity to explore ideas by making connections and seeing relationships between or among items or ideas.


Additional Information:

What is Concept Formation?

Concept Formation





The Baker College System