Enabling student engagement with unfamiliar knowledge

Consider an example from your own subject area of a particularly fundamental or important idea, theory, concept or example.

What sort of ‘bridge’ could you provide to help students unfamiliar with this idea to move towards greater familiarity? Is there an idea from popular culture or popular science that could act as an interim form of understanding, or a staging post?

How can you ensure that students have confidently moved over to engage upon this unfamiliar territory?