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...

Author Says, I Say, So

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
This activity provides a highly structured way for students to identify, organize, and process their reactions to a text. It facilitates students’ ability to react meaningfully to a text, and then to draw...

Book Pass

  • Investigation
This activity helps students to find books that they are interested in reading, and that are at an appropriate reading level. It provides a structured way for students to examine many books in a brief amount...

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...

Costa's Questioning

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to generate and classify questions at three levels: Gathering Information Processing Information Applying Information This framework helps to expand and structure students’...

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...

Drawing Conclusions Thinking Guide

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
In this activity, students learn to use a graphic organizer to structure the process of drawing logical conclusions based on large quantities of information. It helps to guide students to make meaning out of...

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...

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