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:

Word Scramble Prediction

  • Building Background
  • Launching Into New Content
In this activity, adapted from Gallagher’s Deeper Reading (2004), the teacher provides students with a list of intriguing words from a text they will read. The students then read the words and write a...

Word Trees

  • Launching Into New Content
  • Synthesis
Word trees are a visual representation of a set of words, with a branching structure demonstrating the words’ interrelationships. Words that are more frequently or strongly associated to a given word are...

Writer Error Monitoring

This strategy, based on the work of Schumaker & Sheldon (1985), helps students to monitor errors in their writing both effectively and relatively independently. By using the acronym WRITER, they can recall...

Writing Process Analysis

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
In this activity, students examine multiple drafts of a published text. They identify the changes that the writer made between versions, and they hypothesize about the reasoning behind the changes. This...

Writing Self-Statements

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
This activity guides students in setting and reaching goals in their writing processes and writing strategy use. It encourages metacognition and self-directed learning. Students learn to use “self-statements”...

WWW, What=2, How=2

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
WWW, What=2, How=2 (Danoff et al., 1993) guides students in the process of telling a story by providing them with a mnemonic that aids recall of essential story elements. Students learn the mnemonic WWW, What=...

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...

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 “...

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...

Exemplar Jigsaw

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity immerses students within a particular format, genre, or style of work, and guides them towards recognizing its characteristics, features, and purpose. Using a jigsaw format, students analyze...

Pages