List-Group-Label helps students identify, organize, and connect important content. This strategy builds on students’ prior knowledge and activates critical thinking. Through the use of this strategy, students are better able to organize new concepts as they relate to previously learned content while developing their categorizing and labeling skills.


  1. Select a reading selection, vocabulary list, or other artifact related to the current unit of study (text, picture, quote, cartoon, map, etc.).
  2. Divide students into groups of two or three. Provide each group with materials such as paper, sticky notes, or index cards for their List-Group-Label.
  3. Students work together to brainstorm and record a list of words related to the content.
  4. Students work together to group the words into categories based on their understanding of or connections to the content.  Note that there are no right or wrong answers here, as long as students can justify their groupings. Students should determine a label for each group of words.
  5. Have each group of students share their List-Group-Label work while explaining their justification for the words selected, how they grouped them, and the labels they provided.
  6. Engage the whole class in a discussion about the similarities and differences found amongst the group work. Ask students, “In what ways was the thinking alike? In what ways was the thinking different? What changes might you make to your work after considering the work of your peers?”



  • What additional artifacts might you add to your groupings?
  • What different perspectives did you discover that you  hadn’t previously considered?
  • How did the process support your own thought processes?
  • Consider using an Alphablocks organizer for the listing phase of List-Group-Label to help students keep their words (or list) organized.
  • The teacher can provide students with a predetermined list of words in order to see how different groups organize the same list of words similarly and differently.
  • List-Group-Label work can serve as content for Gallery Walk.



Before reading Night by Elie Wiesel, students are presented with the word ‘Holocaust’ and asked to brainstorm words, phrases, or ideas related to Holocaust and place them into groups.


Students are provided with a wide variety of art from different time periods or different artists and work to place them into groups, determining a label for each one.


In the middle of the unit, students complete the list-group-label process with the words from their interactive word wall.


Students are provided with a variety of tools or materials that might be used to solve a problem related to a specific unit of study and work to place them into groups, determining a label for each one.