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:

Map Maker

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
Through this activity, students create a map of a text’s physical setting. This activity helps them to develop, refine, and visualize the physical space in which a story is occurring.

Math Reading Bookmark

  • Investigation
Students are often expected to learn or reinforce mathematical concepts through reading a textbook or other mathematical document. This activity helps students to recall and effectively apply strategies that...

Memory Bubbles

  • Investigation
Memory bubbles are a type of concept mapping, in which students record and organize the people, problems, solutions, and resulting changes associated with key ideas in a reading. Students generally create...

Mind Mapping

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
Mind mapping is a structured activity through which students identify and solidify associations among words and concepts, and work to organize their associations into structures. By connecting and structuring...

Mini Summaries

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Synthesis
This activity supports students in comprehending lectures or presentations by asking them to write a summary of a section of the presentation every three to five minutes. Writing these regular mini-summaries...

Morpheme Mapping

This activity guides students to create visual representations of the ways in which words are connected through their morphological structure. Students create a web with a key word in the center, with that...

Most Valuable Idea

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
In this activity, adapted from Gallagher’s Deeper Reading (2004), students will identify the most valuable idea in a reading, find an article that relates to that idea, and make a connection between the text,...

Movie Poster

  • Synthesis
Movie Poster is an activity where students create a poster about a text that includes a main graphic image, a tagline, and a quote from a critical review. Each element of the movie poster should be selected...

Multi Pass

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to become adept at taking tests, and provides them with a mnemonic they can use to plan and structure their test taking. The acronym “PIRATES” (Hughes and Schumaker, 1991) stands...

My Favorite No

  • Reflection
In this activity, inspired by The Teaching Channel , students will answer a question provided by their teacher and then analyze a wrong answer given by a classmate. The purpose of this activity is for the...

Narrative Text Structure

  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
All readers are better able to understand texts that are familiar to them, both in form and in content. However, many students struggle to identify the various structures that text can take, and they are...

Newspaper Connection

  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity, inspired by Burke’s The English Teacher’s Companion (1998), students will bring in articles (newspaper, magazine, blog posts) that relate to issues or ideas in the unit of study. Students...

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