SOS: Four Corners

Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.

 

Four Corners

PDF Version

Background

The four corners teaching strategy is a cooperative teaching and learning strategy that empowers students to take part in group activities. It is a helpful strategy to use when students have been sitting and need some physical movement in order to refocus. The four corners strategy helps students develop listening, critical thinking, and decision-making skills in the classroom. According to eHow, this strategy “works well to engage all students in conversations about controversial topics.”

 

Example

  • Write the words “Strongly Agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” and “Strongly Disagree” in bold words on poster paper. Post each of the four posters in the corners of the room.
  • Have students watch the video segment Our Federal Government: The Legislative Branch.
  • Display and read the following statement to students: “The House of Representatives should have an equal number of representatives from each state.”
  • Provide students a few minutes to determine if they strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement.
  • Explain to students that they will now go stand in the corner that best represents their decision.
  • Once in their corners, have students engage in a conversation with their peers, providing evidence to support their stance. It is important for students to collaborate with each other before it becomes a class discussion.
  • Facilitate a group discussion to share their views on the statement. Students may say things such as:
    • Strongly agree: They should have an equal number so that each state gets the same amount of votes.
    • Strongly disagree: It would not be fair for a state with more people living there. If they have higher populations, they should have more representatives.
  • After the group discussion, students may change their position in the room. If a student chooses to change positions, he or she must defend the choice.
  • Have students write a paragraph in their journals about their positions on the statement.

Challenge

  • Select a topic that matches your curriculum.
  • Find an audio file, video segment, reading passage, or image for students to examine.
  • Write “Strongly Agree,” “Agree,” “Disagree,” and “Strongly Disagree” in bold words on poster paper. Post one in each of the corners of the room.
  • Share the video, audio, image, or reading passage with the students.
  • Read a statement that pertains to the content.
  • Once they have listened to the statement, students must decide if they strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree.
  • Provide a few minutes for students to think about their answer as they move to the appropriate corner of the room.
  • At each corner, students will discuss their positions. It is important for students to collaborate with each other before it becomes a class discussion.
  • Facilitate a group discussion to share their views on the statement.
  • After a group discussion, students may change their position in the room. If a student chooses to change positions, he or she must defend the choice.
  • Have students write a paragraph in their journals about their position on the statement.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.

 

Comments

  1. Deborah Thonus

    I have used the \Four Corners\ activity in the past, but have not done so this year. Thanks for the reminder! We learn about citizenship and the requirements to become a US citizen. I plan to do this activity with the statement that is aligned with US policy: Candidates need to read, write, and speak basic English.
    I will show \American Heritage: Immigration to the United States\ from DE prior to the Four Corner activity. This video has a wonderful Teacher’s Guide with additional material!

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