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:

Paragraph Frames

  • Investigation
Paragraph Frames provide a scaffold for students as they attempt to organize their ideas coherently within the structure of a well-crafted paragraph. Teachers create “frames” of incomplete sentences that...

Paragraph Shrinking

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
Paragraph Shrinking promotes reading comprehension in a collaborative, small-group setting. Students take turns reading text, pausing, and summarizing the main points of each paragraph, and provide each other...

Perspective Setting Drawings

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
Through this activity, students visualize and then draw a primary place of the story, from the point of view of at least 2 characters. This activity helps students to imagine the setting more fully and more...

Photo Drop

  • Building Background
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity, adapted from Facing History and Ourselves ( www.facinghistory.org ) helps students consider what they already know about a topic or a text through visual media. Students examine relevant...

Pivotal Point Scaffolding

  • Investigation
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to comprehend text in the context of sustained silent reading. For most of the time the students are asked to immerse themselves in independent reading, and the teacher supports...

PLANS

  • Investigation
This activity guides students in setting writing goals, and determining strategies to reach them. It encourages metacognition and self-directed learning. Students learn to use the mnemonic “PLANS” (Harris...

Poems Put to Use

  • Launching Into New Content
This is an activity, adapted from Poetry Out Loud ( www.poetryoutloud.org ), that helps students to imagine how memorizing lines of poetry can be useful in their lives. Through this process, students gain an...

Poetry Connection

  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity, inspired by Burke’s The English Teacher’s Companion (1998), students will bring in a poem that relates to issues or ideas in the unit of study. Students will work in groups to compare and...

Predict-O-Gram

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
This activity, which has been adapted from Johns and Lenski’s Improving Reading: Strategies and Resources (2001), asks students to use a list of words or concepts to make a prediction about how the author may...

Predicting Self-Assessment

  • Building Background
  • Investigation
  • Launching Into New Content
In this activity students will complete a predicting self-assessment and create a plan of action for improvement. The purpose of this activity is for students to evaluate their use of prediction strategies and...

Prediction Sorts

  • Launching Into New Content
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to direct attention towards key terms, and to make predictions about content or a text using key terms. Before beginning a text or a unit of study, students examine a set of key...

Preview, Read, Question

  • Investigation
In this activity students will preview a text and develop questions they think might be answered in the text. They will then see if the text answers their questions. The purpose of this activity is for...

Pages