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:

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...

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...

Math Process Logs

  • Investigation
Using a Math Process Log, students describe their understanding of a problem, and the steps they use to solve it. Their worksheet guides them through the problem solving process, without prescribing a...

Problem/Solution Matchup

  • Investigation
This activity encourages students to think about the content of what they are learning through the lens of problem/solution. They examine a set of “puzzle pieces,” half of them problems, and half of them...

Spider Maps

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity helps students to become familiar with key concepts or events from a text or a unit of study, and to categorize these concepts or events as either main ideas or supporting details.

THIEVES

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity guides students to preview a text effectively by drawing their attention to important textual elements, and helping them to make predictions and anticipate meaning. Students use the acronym...

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...

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...

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...

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