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Chunk-Chew-Check Learning Strategy

Students using learning strategy (mediaphotos, iStockphoto)

Chunk-Chew-Check Learning Strategy

Students using learning strategy (mediaphotos, iStockphoto)


This strategy helps students process and make sense of new information.

Why use it?

  • To provide students with opportunity to process and make sense of new information.
  • To prevent students from becoming overcome by a large amount of information coming at too quick a pace.
  • To help students connect new information with information already in their long term memory.
  • To provide teachers with immediate information that allows for differentiation throughout the learning process

Tips for success

  • For younger students (12-14) aim for 10 minute or shorter chunks of new information.
  • Provide opportunities for individual, partner and small group processing activities.
  • Vary the length of information chunks depending on student ability levels and difficulty of content being taught. Students with weak language skills such as ELL/ESL learners will benefit from smaller chunks and longer processing/chewing time.

How do I use it?

  • Check stage: Either during the processing period, or at the conclusion, teachers should assess students’ understanding of the chunk of new information. This stage also allows for student self-assessment and peer-assessment.
    • The type and depth of assessment strategy employed will depend on the amount of new information that is being assessed and the purpose of the assessment (formative or summative). For example, teachers could
      • make observations of students’ ability to work with the new information
      • provide or ask specific students for clarification as necessary
      • ask students to reflect on what they have learned and what is still unclear
      • ask directed questions relating to the new information
      • have students create a product/assignment that will be formally graded, etc.
    • The Let's Talk Science learning strategies listed above may be used to provide assessment data.


  • Include a “challenge” stage prior to the processing (chew) stage in which specific questions or tasks are provided to guide students to think deeper about the new content.
  • Include a “chat” stage after the processing (chew) stage to provide students with opportunity to express their emerging understanding of the content, practice using the language of the new content, and to hear the ideas and understanding of peers.


  • Where a “chat” stage is included, allow students to make use of electronic means of sharing their ideas via texting or tweeting.
  • Students could create a blog post as part of both the “chew” and “chat” stages.


  • Select specific Let's Talk Science learning strategy reproducibles for deeper teacher review, comments and/or grading.
  • Provide opportunities for peer review or assessment of individual processing (chew stage) work.


Mather, E. (2015). Road tested / Chunk-challenge-chew-chat-check. ASCD, 57(6).

Marana Unified School District. (n.d.). Strategies for “chunk and chew”.

Marzano, R. (2009). The art and science of teaching: Helping students process information. Educational Leadership, 67(2), 86-87.