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:

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...

Letters to the Editor

  • Synthesis
This activity engages students in analyzing their audience, and adjusting their rhetoric according to audience characteristics. Students write letters about the same topic to the editors of two different...

Using Media to Generate a Topic

  • Launching Into New Content
This activity is used when students need to generate a topic for a writing assignment or project. It is most useful when the topic choice is fairly open-ended. By exploring a range of media, students explore...

13 Views

  • Reflection
  • Synthesis
In this activity students will write a poem that synthesizes information that they have read. Each stanza of the poem represents a different view of a character or an event. The purpose of this activity is to...

ABC Brainstorming

  • Launching Into New Content
  • Synthesis
This activity helps students to generate connections, ideas, and reactions related to key ideas of a text or a unit of study. Students brainstorm a word or idea that begins with each letter of the alphabet and...

Acronym Mnemonics

  • Investigation
  • Reflection
Through this activity students create acronyms to assist in remembering a process, list, or set of facts. This process develops students’ metacognition, and helps them to become more mindful and effective in...

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...

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