Lesson Types

NextLesson offers a variety of lesson types for teachers to choose from. Our lessons can be used to: 

  • build skills during a single lesson period, or 
  • apply a range of skills in an authentic context using our applied learning resources


Skill Builders

These are real-world inspired online lessons that focus on the practice of a key skill. They are designed to take one class period and require students to actively participate in some way. You can find Activities for ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies.

Rank & Reason
Rank & Reason is a tool that can be used for students to rank their answers to a given question. They practice skills around critical thinking, reasoning and justification and discussion and tend to take around one class period. It is best used for questions with no right answer where students are required to justify their choices with evidence and engage in discussions. A selection of curated Rank & Reason lessons are available mapped to standards and covering engaging topics. Users can also create original Rank & Reasons.

Real World Skill Builders
These are real-world inspired lessons that focus on the practice of a key skill. They are designed to allow for students to be self-led over one class period. However many also include teacher guidance to introduce an instructional element. Real World Skill Builders follow one of several formats:

  • Essentials 
    Students answer questions and undertake tasks in a real world scenario or relating to a real world topic. The focus is on repeated practice of a skill.
    Available in Math grades K-3 and ELA grades K-6.
  • Choose Your Own Adventure
    Students answer questions focused on a skill with increasing difficulty and after each result they gain a piece of information to help them determine what mystery country they are in.
    Available in Math grades 6-12.
  • Crime Scene Decoder - Whodunnits?
    Students answer questions focused on a skill in order to piece together clues and solve a crime.
    Available in Math grades 3-12 and ELA grades 7-12.
  • Crime Scene Decoders 
    Students answer challenging questions built around a traditional unit of content. After solving each crime scene, they are able to determine who committed the crimes.
    Available in Math grades 3-12.
  • Person Puzzles
    Students answer questions focussed on a skill in order to gather information about an important and influential person.
    Available in Math grades 3-12 and coming soon in ELA.
  • STEM-ersion
    Students encounter a single real world challenge in which they have to make a decision or recommendation after an analysis of the evidence.
    Available in Math grades 9-12.

Applied Learning

Performance Tasks
Performance Tasks require students to apply standards based skills in a real-world context, using real data or information. These tasks use engaging topics that students care about such as sports, music, books or movies. Performance Tasks are designed to be modular so that teachers can use them for a single class period or stretched out across several periods.

ELA Performance Tasks
ELA Performance Tasks focus on one of the three main text types: informative; opinion/argument; and narrative. Students are presented with a model text which they annotate before answering reading questions. They then complete a short writing task and a speaking and listening activity before completing the final extended writing task. The tasks are intended to build student competency but can also be considered to be modular, meaning not all parts of the task need to be completed.
Available at grades 3-12.

Math Performance Tasks 
Math Performance Tasks start with repeated practice of a core skill, before moving to a second skill using higher order questioning and application. Students are then presented with a challenge which is designed to reach Webb’s Depth of Knowledge level 3 and often requires students to reason and justify using mathematical evidence. Each task ends with a cross-curricular or project extension allowing the tasks to be developed further.
Available at grades 3-12.

K-2 Cross-Curricular Performance Tasks
At the primary grades, our Performance Tasks start with repeated practice of a math skill, before integrating a second math skill with a requirement of higher order thinking. The premise is then extended through a speaking and listening and finally a composition task.

NextLesson Projects are extended lesson plans that connect to the real-world and are designed to be compatible with a project-based learning environment. They cover a variety of subjects and topic areas across grades K-12 and encompass the NextLesson Project Key Components.

Projects typically take 5 hours of class time, but could be built out to last across several weeks.



Need more support or have additional questions about lesson types? Contact us at

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 1 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


Article is closed for comments.