Concept Collage


In this activity students will work in pairs to create a poster illustrating the meaning of key concepts or vocabulary words from a unit by using cutouts of words from ads and articles from newspapers and magazines. The purpose of this activity is for students to make meaning of concepts by using related words. This activity works well in all content areas.

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Visualizing

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Building Background
  • Investigation

Content Areas 

  • ELA
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies

Common Core Instructional Shifts 

  • Metacognition
  • Staircase of Complexity
  • Text-Based Answers
  • Writing from Sources


Compile a list of concepts and vocabulary words from the unit. Create a model collage using a word from the list. Gather materials: newspapers, magazines, scissors, glue, poster paper.

Activity Steps 
  1. Introduce Concept Collage.

    Share the purpose of the activity with students.

  2. Share a model collage.

    Share a model collage so students have an image of what their collage could look like, but also share a graphic organizer that details the words included in the collage and why and how they relate to the concept.

  3. Assign concepts to each pair.

    Student pairs can select concepts, but ideally each pair should have a different concept. This could be made into a game where pairs that finish first get the first choice.

  4. Distribute materials.
  5. Cut out words related to the concept.

    Students flip through newspapers and magazines in search of words that relate to their concept.

  6. Defend word selection.

    On a graphic organizer, students will write the words they cut out of the newspaper or magazine and explain why and how that word relates to their concept.

  7. Create collage.

    Students glue the words to the poster paper.

  8. Present collage.

    Each pair will present their collage to the class and explain their thinking on key words included in the collage.

  9. Reflect.

    Students reflect on content and process. • How did this activity help you better understand your concept and the concepts of your classmates?

Downloadable Resources 
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