What is the Chunking Method of Teaching?

By Huntington Learning Center

At Huntington Learning Center, we have long embraced the chunking method in our tutoring programs. What exactly is chunking? Put simply, this is a teaching strategy where larger, more complex topics are broken down into smaller units or “chunks.”  

The idea behind chunking is that it makes information easier and much more manageable for students to grasp. Studies continue to show that chunking is highly effective in helping students (and anyone) synthesize and understand information. Chunking aids in improving long-term retention as well.  

Talk with the professional education department within your school district to get more familiar with chunking—they might have helpful resources for you. For starters, here are a few high-level tips to incorporate the chunking method into your classroom: 

Start with your end goal. What are you trying to achieve in a three-week unit, for example? Lay out those bigger objectives before you start breaking things down further.  

Look over your lessons for natural places to divide and conquer. Break lessons down into modules, and modules down into smaller topics. 

Define your learning objectives for each topic. At the smallest level, know exactly what you want your students to digest so you can think about how to get there, bit by bit.  

Have students try. Make sure you allow time for your students to practice and master! Chunking requires students to fully grasp small skills before continuing on to learn bigger ones. 

Chunking is a highly effective teaching strategy that helps students master difficult material. We encourage you to learn more about it and incorporate it into your classroom where it makes sense.       

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