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Spotlight on Strategies:4 corners

Post the signs: agree, disagree, strongly agree, strongly disagree in four corners of the room. Display a thought-provoking statement, (e.g. the invention of iron encouraged warfare among the tribes) play the video segment and allow the students a minute to decide how they feel, then ask them to go to the appropriate corner. In the resultant groups, discuss and appoint a 'voice' of their opinion to report back to the whole class. Students can change corners after listening to another group's point of view. Each student then writes their opinion with justification.

Big idea

The four corners cooperative teaching and learning strategy 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.

Overview of strategy

  • Ages:Early years, Primary & Secondary
  • Media type used:Video
  • Preparation time:Medium
  • Download strategy PDF


video clip, a thought-provoking statement, a sign for each of the four corners of your room (Agree, Disagree, Strongly Agree, Strongly Disagree)

  1. Choose a video clip relating to your topic of study, and post a sign in each corner of your classroom.
  2. Play the video clip and post the thought-provoking statement relating to the topic of the clip.

    For example: If your topic is historical periods, you could use a clip about the Iron Age and post a statement like: 'The invention of iron encouraged warfare among the tribes'.

  3. Allow students a minute to decide how they feel about the statement and to walk to the appropriate corner of the classroom. In the resultant groups, they will have a discussion and appoint one person to be the 'voice' of their opinion. Each group will have a chance to share their point of view in relation to the statement.
  4. Students may change corners if they change their mind after listening to another group's point of view, as long as they can justify their decision.
  5. When discussion is complete, ask students to write down their opinion with reasons supporting their point of view.
Sum it up

This strategy supports students in forming opinions, citing evidence, write opinion papers and developing critical thinking skills. It also helps them learn to communicate and have respectful conversations despite differing opinions. It is also beneficial building in meaningful movement around the classroom. 

More ideas

You can use other digital media assets to begin this process. Don't limit yourself to just video clips. You may also use reading passages, audio files and images to start this activity.

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