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:

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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...

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...

Closed and Open Word Sorts

  • Building Background
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
Word Sort is a simple small group activity. Students list key words from a reading or a unit of study, or alternatively, the teacher may provide a list of terms prior to the sort. Students identify the meaning...

Connection Sentence Stems

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
This activity teaches students how to make specific connections to a text by identifying personal experiences, other texts, and worldly ideas that are related to what they are reading. Students are given...

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...

Craft Coding

  • Investigation
Through this activity, students focus intently on the craft of a relatively short piece of text. They read through the text multiple times, each time focusing on different element of craft. They mark the text...

Directed Reading Thinking

  • Investigation
Directed Reading Thinking (DRT) promotes reading comprehension by guiding students to question, predict, and then confirm or refute predictions as they read. Students are provided with a structure to scaffold...

Double-Entry Prediction Chart

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
A double-entry prediction chart asks students to select passages from the text and make predictions about characters or events. Students will then explain the thinking behind their predictions using text...

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...

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