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.

Determining Importance

When strong readers tackle challenging texts about unfamiliar ideas, the they are engaged in the work of determining the important ideas, the author's purpose, and the evidence that supports these ideas. These activities explore a number of different ways to support students in deepening their understanding of complex texts.

Lesson Plan Stages

Common Core Instructional Shifts

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Skills

Showing 12 of 67 results:

Acronym Mnemonics

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
Through this activity students create acronyms to assist in remembering a process, list, or set of facts. This process develops students’ metacognition, and helps them to become more mindful and effective in...

Attribute Sorts

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to organize and remember important and distinguishing information about key people, places, or other ideas from their reading. Students sort a set of prepared attributes under the...

Business Card

  • Synthesis
In this activity, inspired by Burke’s The English Teacher’s Companion (1998), students will create a business card to represent a character from a reading. The purpose of this activity is for students to...

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...

Cornell Notes

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
Cornell Notes is a flexible note-taking system that helps students to create organized and useful class notes, and to review and learn from these notes later. It is simple to learn and widely adaptable to...

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...

Elaborative Interrogation

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to assimilate and consolidate new learning that is consistent with their prior knowledge. Students perform an iterative process of asking and answering the question “Why is this...

Fan-N-Pick

  • Investigation
In this activity students will work in groups to answer questions. Each group member will have a different role. The purpose of the activity is to check for comprehension and refine communication skills. This...

Focus Poem

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This is an activity that helps students to deeply study many aspects of a single poem, and to consider how the many pieces of a poem work together to create meaning. Deep and prolonged study of individual...

Generative Summarizing

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This small-group activity helps students to encode and extend content presented in direct teaching or a text. Students are guided to work cooperatively to use their own words, experiences, and connections to...

Giant Word Analysis

  • Investigation
In this fun activity, students analyze the structure of a very long and complex word. They identify both the syllable structure and the morphological structure, and they hypothesize about the word’s meaning...

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