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.

Inferring

Inferring is the work of "reading between the lines" of a text, looking for symbolism, theme, and author's point of view and intention. While this is a sophisticated reading strategy, many young people instinctively apply it to their personal lives as they navigate their families, friendships, and teachers. These activities will allow you to introduce inferring to students within an academic context.

Lesson Plan Stages

Common Core Instructional Shifts

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Skills

Showing 12 of 76 results:

Audience Analysis

  • Investigation
In order to communicate effectively, writers and speakers need to understand their audience’s interests, assumptions, and background knowledge. Skilled communicators must be able both to identify their...

Cartoon Analysis

  • Investigation
This activity helps students to develop a deeper understanding of a controversial topic, and to gain skill in literary and artistic analysis. It is useful in an ELA classroom, since it develops analysis skills...

Cause-and-Effect Train

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
For this activity, students create a visual representation of the cause-and-effect relationships among events. This activity is useful any time you want your students to understand the complex...

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...

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...

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...

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...

13 Views

  • 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...

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...

Author Interview

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
Author Interview is an activity used to deepen readers’ understanding of character, plot, the author’s message, or theme. By questioning the author’s choices in narrative development, students consider the...

Beyond-the-Lines Questions

  • Building Background
In this activity, adapted from Harvey & Goudvis’s Strategies that Work (2007), students will create and use beyond-the-line questions that provoke deeper thinking and prompt lively student discussions...

Character Quotations

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
The character quotations activity helps prepare students to read a novel or historical text by building prior knowledge of key figures in the text. Students examine quotations from the key characters, and...

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