Grids can be used to organize a large quantity of information along two parameters. Students can create and complete grids to visually structure content in order to further both their learning and studying.


Catherine Ullman-Shade

Learning Strategies 

  • Connecting
  • Synthesizing
  • Visualizing
Classifying Information

Lesson Plan Stages 

  • Investigation

Common Core Instructional Shifts 

  • Metacognition


  • Identify two characteristics or parameters that can be used to identify and describe the target information. For example, verbs could be classified by person and tense, countries could be classified by continent and population, poems could be classified by style and primary theme. Create a grid with the parameters along the axes.
  • Determine how much and what part of the grid you want to fill out for the students, and do so.
Activity Steps 
  1. Teacher leads students in brief discussion, activating background knowledge of topic. Teacher distributes and explains grid.

    Depending on your goals, you can complete the axes and ask students to fill out the interior cells, or vice versa, or you could fill out any combination of column and row headings and interior cells. If students know the topic well you could also ask them to define the column and row headings themselves based on what they consider to be the most important classifying parameters about the topic.

  2. Alone or in groups, students complete the grids.

    You should determine what resources (if any) you want students to use to complete the grids. For example, they might use notes, textbooks, or the internet.

  3. Teacher leads group in discussion about what they learned, and how they made decisions about where to place information.

    You can ask students about trends they notice along parameters. For example: · What do you notice about the capital cities with the lowest poverty levels? · How does the number of sides of a shape relate to the sum of the angle measurements?

  4. Alone or in groups, in writing or in conversation, students reflect on their learning process.

    Students respond to questions including: · How did the grid help you to understand the way in which the two parameters are related? · How did using the grid help you to understand this topic in a new way? · When else might it be helpful to create a grid?

Downloadable Resources 
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