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.

Lesson Plan Stages

Common Core Instructional Shifts

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Skills

Showing 12 of 218 results:

Brainstorm Exploration

  • Launching Into New Content
This activity is used when students need to generate and develop a topic for a writing assignment or project. It guides them towards exploring several possible topics in order to determine which topic is “...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Coding the Text

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity provides an organized and time-sensitive way for students to respond in multiple ways to a text as they are reading. By using a pre-established “code,” students indicate a variety of responses...

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 Definition Sort

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity students will match concepts to their definitions. The purpose of this activity is to help front-load the concepts to be learned. It can help students clarify words before reading to enhance...

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...

Connect Two

  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity students will make connections between concepts/terms. The purpose of this activity is to help students better understand concepts and how they relate to each other. This activity is best used...

Pages