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:

Adjusting Reading Rate

  • Investigation
This activity teaches students to monitor the relative difficulty of text, and to adjust their reading rate to support comprehension of text at various levels of difficulty. The activity allows students to...

Anticipation Guide

  • Building Background
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Reflection
Anticipation guides consist of statements about themes from a text and ask students to evaluate their own thoughts about those themes. Anticipation guides help students build background when they think about...

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...

Bloom Questions

  • Investigation
Through this activity, generate questions about a text, and then classify their questions according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. They organize their questions in a pyramid structure that reflects their levels of...

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...

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...

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...

Pages