Lego people standing in a line on top of a lego car.

Value Line


Activity aim: to encourage class discussion without putting students on the spot; to help students formulate questions; to break up a dying whole class discussion; to introduce students to active learning (this is an easy way to introduce the concept and some of your own values surrounding it)

Materials needed: Nothing!

Time estimated: This is intended to be a <5 min. activity, but it can be extended.

Activity Description:

Students stand in a line in the middle of the room. The instructor (or another student) asks a question (related to the course content) that has a yes / no answer (but not necessarily a “wrong” or a “right” answer). For example:

  1. I prefer going to the movies over watching a movie at home.
  2. Having lots of money is more important than doing a job that I’m passionate about.
  3. The primary purpose of college should be to prepare people for the workforce.

Read the first question. If the answer is “staying home,” students should stand on one side of the room. If the answer is “going out to the movies,” students should stand on the other side of the room.

In pairs of two or three, students should try to come up with some reasons why they feel the way that they do that might persuade people on the other side of the room.

After this discussion, students on the right side of the room make their case to students on the left side of the room. You might allow students on either side to switch and repeat the exercise. If no one switches, everyone should come back to the middle of the room and you should repeat the exercise with the next question on the list.

Image credit: Northern Soul