Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning


K20 Center | Published: September 16th, 2020 by K20 Center


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This strategy uses a three-step process to actively organize vocabulary and concepts to increase student understanding.



List-Group-Label provides a process for students to identify relationships between words and concepts. Students use prior knowledge and critical thinking skills as they organize and label vocabulary words and new content. Students brainstorm words related to an assigned topic or text, and then, in small groups, they group words together based on their own criteria and label these groups accordingly.


  1. Decide on a topic, reading passage, or content

  2. List: Have students brainstorm words that are related to the topic, reading passage, or new content (accept all words).

  3. Group: In small groups, have students group the words. Students should be able to explain their reasoning for each group of words.

  4. Label: Using their reasoning for the formation of each group of words, students label or title each group of words.

  5. As students progress through additional learning activities with the topic or content, have them refer to the groups of words and make changes if needed. Are there words that need to be moved or added? Should the labels be changed? Are there words that couldn’t be grouped before that can be added to a group or form a new group? Students should be able to justify and explain any changes.