Five Ways to Use Cubing – For the Teachers

WaysCubing_FeaturedCubing is a versatile, easy-to-use instructional strategy that adds a bit of randomness and chance to your lessons. It’s easy to differentiate and works well with both individuals and small groups of students.

Basically, students are given (or make) a cube with different directions/questions/prompts on each of the six sides. Students then roll the cube and respond to the directions/question/prompt that they get.

Ways to Make Cubes

1) Questioning

What the Cube Sides Might Say:CubeTemplate_275

1. Who

2. What

3. When

4. Where

5. Why

6. How

Ideas for Use:

  • Students create their own questions about a text they just read. Their question must start with the word they roll on the cube. This helps make sure they don’t just ask yes/no questions.
  • To research a person or event, have the students roll the cube 3 or 4 times and then look up and write a short answer in response to each prompt they get.
  • Use to plan a story the student will write.


2) Depth of Knowledge

What the Cube Sides Might Say:

1. Describe

2. Compare

3. Contrast

4. Analyze

5. Evaluate

6. Imagine

Ideas for Use:

  • Use with any 2-5 objects/people/events/formulas/theories, etc.
  • I taught this process to my students using snack size candy bars.
    • For example:
      • Describe: It’s in a silver and brown wrapper. It’s small. It’s brown. It’s rectangular.
      • Analyze: It has _____ calories. It looks fresh. It smells like chocolate.
      • Evaluate: It tastes really good!
      • Imagine: Imagine if chocolate was calorie free…
      • Once the kids knew the process, we could use is for all sorts of things
        • Habitats
        • Countries/States/Regions
        • Math formulas or geometric shapes
        • Stages in the water cycle
        • U.S. Presidents
        • Government policy
        • Pieces of art or music


 3) Story Elements

What the Cube Sides Might Say:

1. Characters

2. Plot

3. Conflict

4. Rising Action

5. Climax

6. Resolution

Ideas for Use:

  • Students write or tell about the part of the story they just read
  • Students write questions about the part of the story they roll on their cube. Students trade questions with a partner and answer the questions they get in writing or out loud.


4) Vocabulary

What the Cube Sides Might Say:

Whatever words the students need to practice!

Ideas for Use:

  • Roll the cube and have students:
    • Write or say a definition
    • Use in a sentence
    • Explain how the word relates to the lesson topic


5) Parts of a Book – Primary Print Concepts

What the Cube Sides Might Say:

1. Title Page

2. Cover

3. Author’s Name

4. First Page

5. Last Page

6. Page Number

Ideas for Use:

  • Sample Lesson Plan
  • Use as a class with the same or different books. Repeat the activity with different books for additional practice.
  • For older kids: Use to get familiar with a new text book – just change the cube sides to things like: glossary, table of contents, index, Chapter 1 title, etc.
Five Ways to Use Cubing
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