Learning Activities

This section of the Design Lab houses more than 200 activities strategically selected to support young people in learning key skills. Most of the activities can be used in classrooms across multiple content areas (including math!). The Learning Strategy Buttons and Search Filters will provide you with many different ways to explore the collection, allowing you to quickly identify activities for specific instructional plans.

Lesson Plan Stages

Common Core Instructional Shifts

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Skills

Showing 12 of 218 results:

Audience Analysis

  • Investigation
In order to communicate effectively, writers and speakers need to understand their audience’s interests, assumptions, and background knowledge. Skilled communicators must be able both to identify their...

Brainstorm Exploration

  • Launching Into New Content
This activity is used when students need to generate and develop a topic for a writing assignment or project. It guides them towards exploring several possible topics in order to determine which topic is “...

Cartoon Analysis

  • Investigation
This activity helps students to develop a deeper understanding of a controversial topic, and to gain skill in literary and artistic analysis. It is useful in an ELA classroom, since it develops analysis skills...

Cause and Effect Train

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
For this activity, students create a visual representation of the cause-and-effect relationships among events. This activity is useful any time you want your students to understand the complex...

Coding Persuasive Writing

  • Launching Into New Content
This activity teaches students about the genre and structure of persuasive writing. Students examine exemplars of persuasive texts and use a code to identify key elements of the text. This activity helps...

Coding the Text

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity provides an organized and time-sensitive way for students to respond in multiple ways to a text as they are reading. By using a pre-established “code,” students indicate a variety of responses...

Draw To Remember Summaries

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity students will draw and write a short description of something they just read. These drawings and summaries can serve as guides for students to go back and review events from previous readings...

Exemplar Jigsaw

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity immerses students within a particular format, genre, or style of work, and guides them towards recognizing its characteristics, features, and purpose. Using a jigsaw format, students analyze...

Letters to the Editor

  • Synthesis
This activity engages students in analyzing their audience, and adjusting their rhetoric according to audience characteristics. Students write letters about the same topic to the editors of two different...

THIEVES

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity guides students to preview a text effectively by drawing their attention to important textual elements, and helping them to make predictions and anticipate meaning. Students use the acronym...

Using Media to Generate a Topic

  • Launching Into New Content
This activity is used when students need to generate a topic for a writing assignment or project. It is most useful when the topic choice is fairly open-ended. By exploring a range of media, students explore...

13 Views

  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity students will write a poem that synthesizes information that they have read. Each stanza of the poem represents a different view of a character or an event. The purpose of this activity is to...

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