In a stations activity, small groups of students move from station to station to read, watch, and interpret a variety of resources that focus on an event, theme, or question from multiple perspectives. Groups of students spend an allotted amount of time at each station interacting with the material and either answering questions or engaging in a reflective activity. The stations activity works well to launch a new unit or to explore in more depth something students have already studied. When the teacher selects from different kinds of content—informational texts, poetry, art, photography, maps, video or audio clips—students can engage with the material using multiple modalities thus allowing them to reach a deeper understanding of the event, theme, or question than they might having read or discussed just one or two texts.
Tell students that they will be working with a group to move through a series of stations where they will learn about a specific topic. Explain to students the instructions for each station and how much time they have to complete the work at each station.
Students Move through Stations
Assign each group to begin at a different station, and ask the groups to move to their first stations. As students work, circulate to listen in on their conversations or work with struggling groups if they need help understanding the text or instructions. Instruct groups to move to the next station after the allotted amount of time has passed until the all of the groups have visited every station.
Debrief the Stations Activity
Debrief the activity as a class if you have time. Consider drawing from the following questions during your debrief: