Eight action figures stand against differently colored backgrounds. Some of them have one or both hands raised up in the air.

Four Corners

Activity aim: Four Corners can be used in a wide variety of ways: to facilitate class discussion, to help create a classroom culture at the beginning of the year, or to shake up the energy in the room and confirm what students have understood after a mini-lecture. The purpose of this activity is to get students to talk to (and, in some cases, to teach) one another.

Materials: You don’t need any materials for this exercise, but it’s a good idea to put your questions and answer options on slides so that you don’t have to continually repeat yourself. If you’re feeling super ambitious, you can also create four signs for the four corners of the room with A, B, C, and D on them.

Time estimated: This activity can take as much or as little time as needed. It can be a nice review activity for the last few minutes of class, or it could take up significantly more time.

Activity description: The teacher designates which corner of the room will be the “A” corner, the “B” corner and so on.

The teacher creates a question with four answer options (ex: How long have you lived in New York? A) between 0-3 years, B) between 3-7 years, C) more than 7 years, but not my whole life, and D) my whole life!).

Depending on their answer to the question, students will physically walk to the corner of the room that corresponds with their answer choice (so, if I’ve lived in New York for 4 years, I would go to corner B).

Once students have sorted themselves into corners, the teacher might give a follow-up question (i.e. What’s the best part of New York? or What do you think the most confusing part of navigating New York might be for a newcomer?).

You might also pair students up with people in different corners (i.e. If you’re in A or B, ask someone in C or D about what’s changed the most about New York since they’ve lived here.)

Images: JD Hancock, Flickr Creative Commons