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Thought Bubbles


Students provide evidence of learning by connecting ideas through thought bubbles.


  • Notebook paper


  1. Students write the lesson’s topic (text title, big idea, etc.) in the center of their paper.
  2. Throughout the lesson, students add Thought Bubbles when new learning occurs. Thought Bubbles may show connections to:
    • Important words
    • Important facts or details
    • Previous lessons
    • A visual
    • A skill
    • Steps in a process
    • Brainstorm/braindump ideas
  3. Students trade Thought Bubbles, share ideas, and add 1-2 new bubbles to their paper.
  4. Analyze students’ Thought Bubbles and clarify/verify as appropriate.

Classroom Management

  • Model a think-aloud with the class so they understand the strategy.


  • Promote access by having students participate in Ball Toss Boogie as a preview activity to brainstorm/collaborate on ideas that could be used in the Thought Bubbles activity.
  • Promote access by allowing the use of notes, journals, or visual supports and partnering with a supportive peer/adult.
  • Provide response support by allowing students to dictate responses to a peer.

Think It Up!

  • Have students think more deeply about the concept by responding to a Think It Up prompt as an exit ticket or journal entry:
    • Trade Thought Bubbles with a friend and evaluate which idea is most unique or profound.
    • Summarize your Thought Bubbles by writing 2 sentences that capture the ideas on your 2 best bubbles.
  • Encourage students to use lead4ward’s Thinking Stems (English/Spanish) to frame their responses, if needed.