A good product causes students (individually and in groups) to rethink what they have learned, apply what they can do, extend their understanding and skill, and become involved in both critical and creative thinking.

Tomlinson & Allan

The product refers to the ways students can demonstrate what they have come to know, understand and be able to do over an extended period of time, such as a term or a unit. For example, students may be asked to keep a portfolio of their work or complete an end of unit project. High quality products may supplement or replace other assessment or evaluation options such as tests.


To differentiate product you can:

  • vary the complexity and depth of the task to match student readiness

  • encourage students to demonstrate learning in a variety of ways e.g. through different modes of expression (not just written language), materials, technologies, etc.

  • include students in the development of the product

  • provide scaffolding as needed to promote success e.g. brainstorming ideas for getting started, mini lessons on research strategies, peer editing and revision, storyboarding, etc.

  • make adjustments for student readiness, interests, ways of working, personal goals e.g. make digital audio or video versions of directions, break the product up into smaller increments, etc.

  • work with students to develop rubrics/criteria for success

Adapted from: Leadership for Differentiating Schools & Classrooms by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Demirsky Allan, ASCD, 2000


Many of the following product ideas have been developed by teachers around the province. These projects all engage students in creative and higher-order thinking. They provide opportunities for students to work in flexible groups and to use talk to learn during the span of the project.

The projects include content, process and product and can be modified or adapted for complexity and/or grade level. Therefore, elementary Cycle One students, Cycle Three students and even secondary students can be involved in creating the same product, e.g. writing a book, at very different levels of development.

Click on the links below to find out more about specific projects.

Write a book or comic

Create a public service announcement, or develop an advertising campaign

Put together a class newspaper, do a news report

Design a new product

  • Younger students could design the packaging for a new cereal, while older students could design plans for a new video game and make a mock-up of the packaging.

Write poetry

Design a game

  • Students can redesign a familiar board game like Monopoly, to demonstrate what they have learned about a particular topic or concept e.g. a game based on the life of someone they have read about.

Create a podcast

  • Click here to read an article that describes the process of creating podcasts with students.

Create a photo story


The following teaching and learning contexts offer multiple opportunities to differentiate the product. For example, in multigenre writing, students create different texts type on topics of interest to them. Click on any project title for more information.

The Info-Comics project is an authentic classroom production context that offers opportunities for differentiation of process and product.

In multigenre writing, students are offered choice of topic and genre and enter the production process following an extensive immersion into texts.

The Youth Subculture Comics project affords more extensive research into the topic and immersion into text. Students create comics that represent the chosen subculture.


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