Phase Two: Work Out

Warm Up
10 mintues
Work Out
30 mintues
Cool Down
10 minutes

Work-out activities are where the majority of time is spent during a session. There are a few elements that are necessary to successful work out activities. The most important: a plan! Your activities should have a clear goal in mind, yet still be flexible. Since you will be creating a host of visual aids, matrices, outlines, and other “advanced organizers,” you should be familiar with as many types of these organizers as possible. Consult Section 4 if you want to brush up on your skills.

SI session activities (and work-out activities in particular) have a hidden undercurrent. Remember combining “what to learn” with “how to learn.” When a wide array of study skills and habits is the center focus of your sessions, students can learn new ways to study material. In fact, the SI leader should encourage students to try the same organizers and activities in all their classes – not just one.

SI leaders work for semesters perfecting the art of integrating study skills, so don’t get frustrated if at first you have trouble with it. The following example can help point you in the right direction. Don’t forget that there are plenty of resources available to leaders seeking help planning sessions. Your mentor, supervisors, and coordinator are all willing to help you make the best out of your session ideas!


Use class vocabulary and concepts for a twist on traditional hangman. The rules stay the same, but students or teams of students can earn extra points by providing more information about the word.

This game can be competitive or cooperative. You’ll be surprised how teams compete for the coveted bonus points!

Example Activity: Hangman

This game (inset) is an example of a game that is easily modified to fit into a session format. Everyone has played hangman, and that familiarity will make this activity a breeze to facilitate.

Class vocabulary keeps students reminded of terms and the bonus points will have them fishing through notes, textbooks, and supplemental readings. Easily adjusted for teams or for individuals, you can lead into any organizer from here as well.

Getting Silly

Sometimes you just have to let your hair down and get silly! There will be times when your students think some of your methods may be a little on the juvenile side – let them laugh at you! Ask them to do the activity with an open mind. Odds are they will enjoy it once they are laughing and learning! If you have a “silly” way to remember something, share it with your students. They may laugh at you, but they will never forget your wit and wisdom.