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:

Prewrite Questions

  • Building Background
  • Launching Into New Content
In this activity students survey the text and create questions they think the text was designed to answer. During reading, students will try to answer their questions. The questions help set a purpose for...

Probable Passage

  • Launching Into New Content
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to direct attention towards key terms, and to make predictions about the content of a text. Before reading a text, students examine a set of key terms. They make predictions about...

Problem Solution Brainstorming

  • Investigation
In this activity, students read enough of a narrative to be able to identify the core problem(s) that the character(s) face. Then, students brainstorm and elaborate possible solutions to the problem. Next,...

Problem Solving Via Imagery

This activity helps students to develop proficiency in using imagery to solve problems. By visualizing or drawing a problem, students are able to notice connections and patterns that can help guide them...

Problem-Solving Models

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
Many students struggle when asked to solve problems that do not have a clear and prescriptive solution, and they may give up easily since they cannot envision a path or strategy to follow. This activity helps...

Problem-Solving Via Analogy

This activity helps students to develop proficiency in using analogical problem solving. After a student understands a problem, he or she is able to search his or her memory to identify problems that are...

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...

Problematic Perspective

  • Investigation
This activity, adapted from Vacca and Vacca’s Content Area Reading (2005), engages students as problem solvers who must employ both prior knowledge and academic skills to explore a topic or scenario as an...

Pyramid Diagram

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to identify appropriate and important information from a text to be analyzed, and then guides them towards considering implications and effects of this information. They create a...

QAR

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
This activity helps students to structure the asking of different types of questions about a text. “QAR” stands for “Question-Answer Relationship,” and it is a way of conceptualizing the different types of...

Question Formulation Technique (QFT)

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This flexible activity, developed by the Right Question Institute, can be used to help students to more effectively learn about any text or topic. It leads students through a set of steps through which they...

Question Sort

  • Investigation
In this activity, students generate a set of questions about a text or unit of study, and write all the questions on index cards or sticky notes. Then, they sort the questions into two categories: “clarifying...

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