Using Learning Grids to Engage

Hello! It's Pixie Anne from Growing Little Learners here today to share some ideas with you about using Learning Grids in Literacy!

Learning Grids are not a new idea by any stretch of the imagination and I'm sure we all use them or have used them in our classrooms before in some way. I certainly have in the past, especially for math lessons but only once for literacy. When I think about that, it seems strange because that literacy lesson was always a success and I don't think I have ever stopped to think about all the reasons why! It was a lesson on arguments (balanced and persuasive) and the children had a 6x6 grid in pairs full of statements such as: space exploration is a waste of money, Our parents are our best teachers, Children should be allowed mobile phones in schools, Dogs make better pets than cats etc. Children rolled the dice to land on a statement and had to argue for or against it with their partner. I used in in different ways and it always resulted in some great writing!

The course I was on (OTI) challenged me to think of other ways I could use learning grids in my classroom to engage learners and I thought I would share with you five of the literacy ideas I have had so far...

1. Describe the Nouns

Graphics are from My Cute Graphics 
It so happened that we were doing a unit of work on poetry and we were thinking of more interesting ways to describe boring objects. Of course, I did have a whole range of real objects in the class for children to refer to as well but made a quick learning grid using lovely images from My Cute Graphics and gave the children a choice. They loved rolling the dice twice to find the picture on the grid they had to describe and ended up with some super sentences!

2. Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

I then thought I would try out a grid in my phonics lesson the next week. We have been working on comparative and superlative adjectives and the spelling rules for adding these suffixes. 

This would work as a scoot activity too but my class enjoyed working in pairs and talking through the spelling rule using it this way.

I've uploaded these so you can grab them as a freebie from my store!

3. Chocolate Facts

After half term (I have a lovely week off at the moment!) we are starting a non-fiction unit on explanation texts and will be focusing on chocolate! Our first lesson will be activating prior knowledge and thinking about what we already know. Instead of paired work during the main part of the lesson, I thought I would use this at the start or end of the lesson to share some new facts with the class. I plan to put it into a smart notebook and put boxes over each fact which can be revealed when children choose a square.

4. Roll a Story

I think I will have this out as a start of the day activity for pairs to work on. Hopefully, when they each roll a picture then can come up with a little story or link between the two images. I'm always after new ways to get more speaking, listening and collaboration into the day and I hope they will find this fun!
Graphics are from My Cute Graphics 
5. Book Talk

The lovely Em over at Curious Firsties posted an update about her book Face Off idea recently (go and check it out!). I loved this and plan to set up a display outside my classroom just like it! Seeing the display she made gave me an idea for a guided reading activity I might set up along the exact same lines. I have made a grid with some of the books we have shared this year and know quite well. I plan for children to roll the dice to find 2 books then talk about their favourite. This could be a written response if they are working on their own or another speaking and listening activity if working in pairs - justifying their choices and explaining clearly their favourite book. I'm really excited to try this activity - thanks for the inspiration Em!

I acknowledge I have gotten carried away with the Learning Grids but please don't worry that all my lessons are based around this one idea! I am using them fairly sparingly so the children are still excited and not bored by this one engagement strategy and am using plenty of others too!

I do think they are a fun way of adding a game element into learning, promoting collaboration and offering the children some choice. I've just shared 5 ideas I've had for literacy (the possibilities are endless and I've been using them in math too!). 
I would love to hear how you already use them in your classroom or how you might incorporate them into a lesson in the future! 

These dice I ordered do make all the difference though - lovely soft, silent dice! One of the best inventions ever?!

Thank for stopping by today - please do leave a comment to share your learning grid ideas!


  1. What a fabulous teaching strategy! I have used this idea with questioning and with sightwords, but I love the other variations you've shared too. Sharing on my FB page now.

  2. Thanks - they're so easy to make and do keep them on task a lot longer!

  3. I love it! I'm going to try working this strategy in next week with my Kindergarten kiddos!

  4. Pixie--I love this idea as a way to support my Book Face Off. Brilliant!!! Thank you so much for this post. It is full of great ideas.