The content of differentiated instruction refers to the material the students will learn or their sources of information (Tomlinson, 2001). The information to be taught and the strategies to be used can be accomplished through; using different genres, leveling materials, using a variety of instructional materials, providing choices, using selective abandonment (Chapman & Gregory, 2007).

Curriculum Compacting
Curriculum compacting is used to help the advanced learners better use their time. There are three stages to compacting. In stage 1, the teacher assesses what the students know and determines which individuals may be involved in compacting. During stage 2, the teacher notes which areas the compacting students still require further practice. Finally, during stage 3, the teacher and compacting students design an investigation or study to work on during the general class lessons. In essence, the compacting students work on their projects while the other students are engaged in the class lesson. When the class lesson involves a concept the compacting student requires more practice, that student joins the rest of the class for that portion of the lesson.

Varied Text and Resource Materials
The teacher provides various sources of information for the students. The information would be all based around the same topic or unit but the reading levels would vary allowing for the different reading abilities of the students.

Learning Contracts
Learning contracts gives the students some flexibility in their use of class time in exchange for productive and meaningful work. Goals are set for each of the students based on their own needs. Students can be given the flexibility to help decide their plan for the week. They can also decide which tasks will be completed at school and perhaps which ones will be completed at home as homework. This could mean that students are all working on different activities at different times of the day.

The teacher may re-teach a portion of the lesson when there is evidence that some students have not yet mastered the skill.

Varied Support Systems
Teachers can make content of varying difficulty levels by using a variety of support systems such as study buddies, reading partners, audio and video recorders, and peer and adult mentors.

Highlighted Print Materials
The teacher can highlight sections of the text to focus student’s reading. This assists those students who have a difficult time managing the entire chapter or text.

Digests of Key Ideas
The teacher creates a capsule of the main ideas from a unit or topic. This could be in the form of sentences and paragraphs or flow charts and concept maps. This helps the students who struggle with print material to use a more manageable text.

Tiered Assignments
The teacher creates lessons with varied levels of abilities to ensure the content is appropriate for all learners.

Retrieved from



Chapman, C. & Gregory, G. H. (2007). Differentiated instructional strategies: One size doesn't fit all, second edition. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press.

Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability classrooms. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.