This study sought to identify specific types of discussion-based strategies that two successful high school physics teachers using a model-based approach utilized in attempting to foster students’ construction of explanatory models for scientific concepts. We found evidence that, in addition to previously documented dialogical strategies that teachers utilize to engage students in effectively communicating their scientific ideas in class, there is a second level of more cognitively focused model-construction-supporting strategies that these teachers utilized in attempting to foster students’ learning. A further distinction between macro and micro strategy levels within the set of cognitive strategies is proposed. The relationships between the resulting three levels of strategies are portrayed in a diagramming system that tracks discussions over time. The study attempts to contribute to a clearer understanding of how discussion-leading strategies may be used to scaffold the development of conceptual understanding.