What is Four Corners?
Four Corners is a teaching strategy that provides students with the opportunity to discuss controversial topics. The teacher asks students a question or provides a debatable statement. Students then express their opinion to the topic by moving into groups with students who have similar opinions.
How to Implement this Strategy
The teacher prepares the activity by taking four pieces of paper. Label each piece with one of the following: strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. Post these pieces of paper in the four corners of the room.
- The teacher next thinks of a controversial statement. During the activity, Write this statement on the board or displayed on the SmartBoard for students to use as a reference.
- The teacher then reads the statement to the students. Students determine what opinion they have and move next to the posted paper that best conveys their opinion.
- Once students are divided into four groups, they discuss their feelings about the topic. A recorder makes a list of reasons why their opinion is the best.
- A spokesperson is then elected.
- The spokesperson expresses the group’s reasons why they are right on the topic to the class.
Finally, allow time for students to move to a new corner if opinions were changed after hearing the discussion.
Variations of this activity may include questions.
- Where is the best location for a summer vacation? –beach, mountains, city, national park
- Who is the most likable book character?
- Which invention had the most impact?
- Which novel best illustrates —
School Related Questions to Debate
- Cheating is becoming a major problem in school.
- Students should be able to grade teachers.
- Schools should put tracking devices on Student ID Cards.
- Class size doesn’t matter.
- Teachers assign too much homework.
- School dress codes are a good idea.
- Kids need more recess.
- Schools are teaching skills needed for success in life.
Give this Strategy a Try
This printable includes eight debatable topics based on the book Wonder by R.J. Palacio for students to use for the Four Corner Teaching Strategy.