Last Wednesday, we began our formal exploration of claims, counterclaims, and rebuttals, some core concepts I felt needed to frontload with my 8th graders based on the results of a survey they had completed about 10 days earlier.

One of my favorite ways to use task cards is for an gallery walk style learning experience.  I purchased an excellent set of task cards on Teachers Pay Teachers, printed them, cut them up, and placed them around the room.  After introducing claims with some notes and guided practice together, students participated in our task card walk to identify the claim statement in the paragraphs on the task cards.  Students could complete the walk in any order they wanted, and we followed our usual rules of quiet work during the walk and no more than 2-3 people per task card area at a time.  Whether they chose to work with a buddy or approach the task card walk independently, my students excelled at this activity:

Once students completed the task card walk, they turned in their answer sheets and used the remainder of class to read their choice library books.  The following day we swapped papers  and went through each task card answer choice together as a class; this “check and correct” review activity gave us a chance to see patterns or gaps of understanding and to talk about the reasons as to why a statement was indeed a claim.

This activity is simple, but I find my 8th graders enjoy task card walks and are engaged as they contemplate their learning challenge on each task card.  I also love this kind of activity because it gets students up and moving, something I think it is important to incorporate into my classroom at least once a week.

How do you incorporate task cards into your instruction and classroom?