EdBooks Stackable Lessons™ Model

We use our unique, Stackable Lessons™ model to create stand-alone lessons for all key concepts represented in our curriculum. Because our lessons are created as independent, self-contained learning experiences, they can be easily reordered or recombined with other lessons in the curriculum without additional content editing or sacrificing learning coherence or integrity.

At EdBooks, we innovate content design, development, and delivery through our Stackable LessonsTM model.


In this model, each Stackable LessonTM page is created as a self-contained learning experience designed to guide students toward ownership and mastery of a specific topic or concept. Like successful software applications, we design and construct these lesson pages using modular sections building blocks of content. These are carefully structured and ordered to promote the highest possible level of learning. This means moving students from contextualization and elaboration to relevance, or personalization, and then helping them take ownership of the information and mastering it.

Our goal with the Stackable LessonsTMmodel is to move learners, via an intentional, scaffolded narrative, through a learning sequence that begins with contextualization and results in their ownership and mastery of the information presented. We accomplish this through a sequence of nine content/activity sections.

Contextualization: This model begins by providing a solid context for the information that will be presented to learners throughout the lesson. Our goal of this section to give help learners establish a personal framework that will allow them to appreciate and absorb lesson content. From a pedagogical perspective, we focus on inquiry, and prompt learners to think of a single “big” question that will help them grasp why the information matters and how it might apply to them personally. Our goal is to use this as a common thread for the lesson narrative.

Elaboration: Having provided learners a meaningful context for lesson information, we move to the elaboration phase and begin presenting our information. We do this via two content sections: (1) a video overview section, (2) a reading section that contains core information content. These sections are tied closely to the “Big Question” or inquiry from the contextualization phase.

Relevance: At this point in our lesson, we want to move learners toward the relevance, to help them personalize lesson information. We do this in two ways. First, we insert a poll or reflection activity to remind learners that the lesson information has significance in their world. This reflection is related to the Big Question or lesson inquiry and is intended to reinforce the lesson narrative.

We also emphasize relevance in an expanded reading section, which is designed to provide a deeper and more “applied” look at the main lesson content.

Agency: Having established context, elaborate core lesson information, and demonstrated the relevance or personal importance of our lesson information, we can move learners toward information ownership or agency. In this section of the content sequence, we provide activities or discussion opportunities that allow learners to begin applying the lesson information. In our Stackable LessonsTM page model, we accomplish this through our Explore and Discussion activity sections.

The purpose of the Explore section is to move learners centrifugally, away from the lesson/course, to examine and try out applications for the information. 

The Discussion section encourages learners to express information ownership by sharing personal opinions related to it. In general, we want to relate both our Explore and Discuss sections back to our Big Question of lesson inquiry.


Mastery: As a final step in our model, we want to take advantage of the learning momentum created through relevance and agency, and have our learners develop content mastery. At the lesson level, we simulate this via a Check Your Knowledge quiz. For a course module, which contains 4-5 lessons, we aggregate our assessments into a summative quiz, along with a suggested “evidence” activity.