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Quick Ideas for Engaging Students in Active Learning

Four Ideas for Engaging Students in Active Learning

This worksheet from Teaching Tolerance presents four quick, basic ideas to support active learning. Building on inspiration from Herbert Kohl, this tip sheet outlines uses of writing, drawing, images, and small groups to engage students. Any of these strategies could be used to assess student understanding. 

Strategies described and illustrated include:

  1. The One-Minute Paper
    • Students respond to a relevant question for a set number of minutes. This method helps students explore and express of their identities. 
  2. Draw for Understanding
    • Students draw a picture to explain an idea, process, or relationship. Each student then shares their drawing with their classmates. This method helps "fill the well" so each student has something to contribute during discussion.
  3. The Power of a Picture
    • Pictures hook student interest and initiate conversation. This method can help students retain information and create links to topics covered in discussion.
  4. Create and Use Groups
    • There are multiple benefits to group work. Group work should have a clear purpose, and each member should be help accountable for a task.



Grade Level: 
Teaching Strategies