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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Concept star

A concept star is a type of graphic organiser that can be used as a pre-reading activity to encourage prediction skills and build vocabulary. It can be used effectively when students are reading a text beyond their ability to understand completely.

The teacher selects two or three paragraphs that contain an especially large amount of new vocabulary. Five categories are chosen for each of the points on the star. Students sort words from the paragraphs into these semantic categories using prior knowledge, context clues and prediction skills.
This can be done first as an individual activity and then in pairs and/groups.

The benefits of a Concept Star
* Encourages readers to be willing and accurate guessers and to tolerate ambiguity.
* Can be used as a before and after activity with students revising their concept star after they have read the complete passage and had teacher/peer input.

The following videos show students using a concept star in the classroom

Primary level


Secondary level

Teaching and learning sequence examples:

Primary level:

  • Siapo – Visual Arts, years 5–6

Secondary level:

Published on: 18 Dec 2017