Skills Development

As educators, we often identify key skills that our students need to learn, but it can be challenging to find activities that specifically address these skills. This part of the Design Lab is devoted to our evolving "Learning Genome" of essential skills, critical for college and career preparation. At this time, we have identified 45 skills. Accompanying each skill description is a growing catalog of associated activities.

As you explore, you will see that each skill is associated with specific learning strategies. The Search Filters will allow you to search for skills associated with individual Common Core Standards, specific content areas, etc.

Common Core Standards

Content Areas

Learning Strands

Showing 10 of 38 results:

Analyzing Literary Elements

Unlike most textbooks, literature conveys meaning through form and literary tropes as well as through content stated directly.  Formal elements such as line breaks, punctuation, and rhythmic patterns work together with techniques such as allusion, metaphor, and irony to create and enrich meaning.   Students of...

Analyzing Poetry

When we analyze poetry, we closely examine the different parts of the poem, and then use this close examination to interpret the meaning(s) of the poem.  As with all good writing, the form of a poem complements and contributes to its meaning, so poetry analysis includes examination of formal elements such as structure,...

Analyzing Theme

As students become more advanced readers they are expected to analyze the ideas that texts bring up. Students need to be able to recognize the big, recurring concepts that appear in text, and to interpret what individual texts have to say about these ideas. By learning to recognize and analyze the theme(s) of texts,...

Cause and Effect

Students need to appreciate the relationship of cause and effect in order to really understand and remember complex phenomena: novels, persuasive arguments, historical events, and series of related occurrences in nature, for example. Without understanding cause and effect, students are apt to learn and recall such...

Clarifying Confusion

Skilled learners are adept at identifying when they are confused, and using a variety of strategies to clarify their confusion. Less-skilled learners, however, often will not even notice that they are confused, and if they do notice, they often lack a repertoire of effective strategies to repair the breakdown in...