Lesson closure is so important for learning and is a cognitive process that each student must "go through" to wrap up learning.  As teachers sometimes we forget that when students leave our room they step out into another world - sometimes of chaos.  They instantly switch wondering what's for lunch, who are they going to meet up with in passing period, how long will practice go tonight, what's for dinner, etc.  Teachers may be reflecting on how the lesson went or what they're going to take home to grade, but students are not.  The following is a compilation of different closure activities, some of which are short - less than a minute - and some a little longer.  The list is maintained on the resources tab of this site.

Ending Lessons

Cornell Notes

See: Notes
Could be used for closure by having students summarize their notes from the lesson, compare with partner and compare with teacher's summary.

 Journal Entry

  • Write about 2 things they learned
  • One new learning and a lingering question
  • Next steps in a project (to help link day to day of project/studio work)

Ticket Out The Door

(Exit Pass, etc.) See: Ticket Out The Door
Can be used as formative assessment to guide future (next day's) instruction.

  • Student answers in writing a question or questions posed or reflects about the learning
  • Work a question/problem from the material being covered
  • Plus/Delta
  • Used with other closure ideas here

Whip Around

Students quickly and verbally share one thing they learned in the class today. You have them toss a ball from one to another or just have volunteers.


3 things they learned, 2 things they have a question about, 1 thing they want the instructor to know. Journal, post-its, index cards, ticket out the door, etc.


Students write one question they have about the topic of the current lesson. This can be something for which they know the answer or for which they want the answer. Form an inner and out circle. Share question with the person in front of them to see if they know the answer, switch who is asking the questions, if time rotate to new partner.

 Summary Paragraph

What was learned today, specifically and with examples. Use via journal or ticket out the door, etc.

 Explain a Procedure

Write to an absent student and explain how to …
Students write a detailed explanation of a procedure - with an example to demonstrate their understanding of the concept. They give their partner the un-worked example and the detailed instruction. The partner works the examples from the directions which is followed by the pair peer editing for clarity.

 Cliff Notes Jr

Students prepare a “cheat sheet” that would be useful for having during a quiz over the lesson's topic.

 Three W's

Students discuss or write

  • What did we learn today?
  • So What? (relevancy, importance, usefulness)
  • Now What? (how does this fit into what we are learning, does it affect our thinking, can we predict where we are going)

 The Five W's

Students explain the who, what, where, when, why and how of the lesson.


Tell the person next you you 2 (3,4,5…) things you have learned today, then the groups report out.
Variation - Think/Write/Pair/Share

 Daily Dozen

Each student chooses two questions from a generic list to respond to about the day's lesson.

 Gallery Walk

Students prepare representations of their learning and post them around the room or otherwise display them. Students can either share out or move from station to station and write questions or comments, noting similarities and differences, and/or reflect on what they might do differently if they were to repeat the process.


Daily or intermittently, 2-4 questions to show what student have learned. Via exit slips/ticket out the door or whiteboards work well for formative assessment. Don't forget to ask conceptual questions.

 Quiz Master

Students prepare a short quiz (+/- 5 questions with answers). At least 2 of the questions must start with How? or Why? Collect via exit slips/ticket out the door or have written in journal. It can serve as a warm-up for the next day– just pass them out randomly.

 Quiz a Partner

Students each create 1 or 2 questions based on the lesson. Combine with Pair-share to process questions and responses.

 Thumbs Up - Thumbs Down

Post questions where all students respond with thumbs up, down or sideways, ask for explanation of the decisions.

 Quick Doodles

Draw two or three concepts presented in the lesson - may include words or numbers.

 Key Ideas

Students list the key ideas from the lesson and why they were important.

 What Am I?

(Riddles for key terms) Students each construct clues (riddles) about the key terms and quiz partners or the room.


Teacher gives answer, students create the question. Use with dry erase boards. (Google to find jeopardy templates for Power Point and Smart Notebook, etc.)

 Alex Trebek

Students post answer/question o group about lesson, responses come from other students, not the teacher.

 Be The Teacher

Students present three key ideas they think everyone should have learned. Could be done with a group/s, or individually. Responses can be either oral or written.

 Credit Cards

Students are given in index card and required to state the lesson's objective and if they feel that the objective was met. Credit is given for participating.


Students are given an index card and they write a postcard to their parents explaining the day's lesson.

 Pros and Cons

Students list pros and cons of the issue discussed in class (via exit slip, ticket out the door, journal, etc.)

 So What's Up With...?

Students raise questions about something they either were unsure about or need clarification. Can be done orally or written. Combine with Pair-share or other small group for immediate processing or with exit slips/ticket out the door.

 Journal Entry

Each day students write about 2 things the learned.

 I Care Why?

Students explain relevancy of the concept to their life or how the might use it.

 It Fits Where?

Students create a time line of the concepts taught (sequence the concepts) or explain a connection to something else they know.

 Element of Surprise

Students receive an envelope containing a card with a word or phrase selected by the teacher. Students discuss the concepts and list the content-specific vocabulary necessary to discuss it.

 Numbered Heads Together

Students in groups of up to five are numbered sequentially. As a group, they create a list of 3-5 things learned in the lesson and then the teacher calls one number for each group to report to the class something they learned.

 We Learned What?

Students write open ended questions index cards. Two students are selected to come forward. The first student draws a question card and poses the question to the class. After the class discusses the question and answers with their partner - the second student draws a student name card to respond to the questions. (these questions could also be used to launch - or in SET - the next day's lesson)

 We're Going Where?

Students predict the topic of tomorrow's lesson - be sure to refer to the predictions the next day as either an opener/SET or in closure.

 It looks Like This

An actual object or model that directly relates to the lesson is show to students. Students explain in small groups or exit slips/ticket out the door how it connects to the day's concept.

 Sell It To Us

Write a jingle (or rap) that explains the main idea of the lesson.


Students write a 1-2 minute commercial to use at home when asked, “What happened in math class today?”

 4 Box Synectics

Synectics connect unrelated ideas through metaphor. Students are given a sheet with four boxes, in each box is a stem. Examples:

  • Solving equations is like eating an orange because…
  • Solving equations is like driving a car because…

 KWL Chart

(What do you Know? What do you Want to know? What did you Learn?)
At the beginning of a lesson, introduce students to a concept such as fractions or adverbs by asking them what they already know about it and what they want to learn. Then, as the closing activity, have students fill out the “What did you learn?” column.

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