An important component of an effective lesson is a meaningful and structured closure activity. It is a quick review at the end of the lesson to remind students what it was that they learned. It also allows the teacher to see where the students are to plan for future teaching. The activity chosen for lesson closure highlights students’ needs and helps the teacher plan for future lessons. Although there are many different types, the goal of closure is to articulate learning, discuss lesson importance, and/or self-assess learning.
Closure is often forgotten or not given enough time in lesson design. Often it is due to pacing issues in the lesson. However, closure is much more than the end of the lesson. A good closure includes what, why and how of the learning so learning is solidified.
The closure activities below are popular and would be a great addition to student teacher toolkits. A time saving tip is to list the activities numerically and just add the number to your plans. This helps save time and diversifies closure activities.
Possible Closure Activities
- Three W’s -Students discuss or write: what did we learn, why was it important, what do we do next.
- Pair / Share – Tell the person next to you 2 (3,4, 5…) things you have learned today, then the groups report out. Variation is to have students Think/Write/Pair/ Share
- Gallery Walk -Students create graphic representations of their learning and post them. Students can either share out the posters or students can move from station to station – writing questions or comments, noting similarities and differences, reflect on what they might do differently if they were to repeat the process.
- Explain a Procedure -Write to an absent student and explain how to …….
- 3-2-1 – Students write on a post it, paper, index card: 3 things they learned, 2 things they have a question about, 1 thing they want the instructor to know.
- Whip Around -Students quickly and verbally share one thing they learned in the class today. You can have them toss a ball from one to another or just have volunteers.
- Exit Ticket/Pass – Student must answer in writing questions or reflect in some way about the learning before being allowed to leave the room.
- Thumbs Up / Thumbs down – Pose some questions that can be answered thumbs up/down/ sideways, ask for explanation of the decisions.
- Quick doodles – Doodle / draw two or three concepts presented in the lesson may include words or numbers.
- “What am I?” – Have students construct clues (riddles) about the key terms and quiz partners.
- Five W’s – Students explain the who, what, where, when, why and how of the lesson.
- Postcard – Students are given an index card to write a postcard to their parents explaining the day’s lesson.
- It Fits Where? – Students create a “timeline “of the concepts taught (sequence the concepts) or explain a connection to something else they know.
- Element of Surprise – Students receive an envelope containing a card with a word or phrase selected by the teacher. Students discuss the concept and list the content-specific vocabulary necessary to discuss it.
Learning occurs in day to day activities. So, look for and create learning opportunities throughout your day. Stay safe and be well.