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.

Visualizing

More and more, we are a culture of visual learners. As we navigate nonfiction texts and data, it is critical that we visualize the relationships between various pieces of information. As we read fiction, visualizing oftens allows us to bring a text alive in new ways. As we work with mathematical concepts, visuals help us organize variables into complex formulas and equations.The visualizing strategy is one of the foundational strategies, that can be introduced to students with these activities.

Lesson Plan Stages

Common Core Instructional Shifts

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Skills

Showing 12 of 44 results:

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  • 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...

Concept Collage

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
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...

Concept Maps

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
Concept maps are a visual representation of interrelated ideas. Creating concept maps helps students to recognize and remember the hierarchical and horizontal relationships among words and ideas, and to...

Connection Graphic Organizer

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
This activity provides a highly structured way for students to identify, organize, and process the connections they make with a text. Students are able to recognize and then categorize different types of...

Conversation Roundtable

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to visually and cognitively organize the different ways in which a poem reflects and comments upon a given theme. Through the use of a graphic organizer, students make explicit the...

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...

Draw-Label-Caption

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
  • Reflection
This activity, where students draw and label a key scene in a text, works well as a pre-writing activity, and also as a reading comprehension activity. It helps students to develop a detailed visualization of...

Expository Frameworks

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
Through this activity students learn to reorganize their notes to reflect the ideas and relationships embedded in a repertoire of common discourse patterns. Expository frameworks are the structures that...

Expository Text Structure

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
All readers are better able to understand texts that are familiar to them, both in form and in content. However, many students struggle to identify the various structures that text can take, and they are...

Frameworking

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
“Frameworks” refer to our memories of paradigmatic situations or entities we recall in order to provide a context for new information. For example, a stick figure can help us to organize our information about...

Grids

  • Investigation
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.

Guided Imagery

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
Guided imagery helps students to activate background knowledge, and to preview a text in preparation for reading. Students use words and images from the text to generate multisensory visualizations of text...

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