This paper explores the role of model eliciting activities (MEAs) in the preparation of United States pre-service teachers who will work with elementaryaged students. Specifically, this paper focuses on how teachers can be assisted in facilitating and interpreting experiences that support students in identifying and using mathematical structures, conceptual systems, and modeling perspectives. Preliminary results from a qualitative study investigating teachers’ perceptions of teaching mathematics from a modeling perspective are included. Data from 16 participating pre-service teachers collected as they worked through a MEA, included audiotapes of workgroups, work samples, and a focus group interview. Common themes among the teachers regarding their perceptions were generated using grounded theory methodology. Implications for mathematics teacher education are described.