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Spotlight on Strategies:IDEA share

Students rotate around the classroom where at different desks, there are different resources to respond to (e.g. text, images, these could be digital). Give students two-three minutes to record one or more of the following on a large chart:





Repeat idea gathering 3 more times. Share as a group the interesting, different, exciting and advanced thoughts.

Big idea

Students of all ages need opportunities to learn from one another and share ideas. They also benefit from activities which allow them to analyse and synthesise information presented in a variety of formats and provide constructive feedback to one another. The IDEA strategy from Partnership for 21st Century Skills provides a framework that helps students accomplish these things in a positive and supportive way.

Overview of strategy



a variety of resources, IDEA share recording sheets, a music track to use as students rotate

  1. Play music while students rotate around the classroom.
  2. When the music stops, students sit down in the closest chair and read/review resource at that desk. The goal is for them to gain new IDEAs from that resource.
  3. Give students two-three minutes to complete one letter on the IDEA recording sheet 

    I (interesting)– write about something interesting

    D (different) – write about something different

    E (exciting) – write about something exciting

    A (advanced) – write about something advanced

  4. Ask students to also record whose board they looked at and why they chose that letter to write about it. Example: "John's video about volcanoes was interesting because it showed how first ash erupts and then lava explodes."
  5. Repeat rotation and idea gathering several more times, making sure that students have time to write about what they're learning on their IDEA recording sheet.
  6. After four rotations gather students into a whole group setting. Ask students to share with the class what they saw that was Interesting, Different, Exciting, and Advanced.
Sum it up

This strategy gives students opportunities to move around the classroom as they learn. They learn to both give and receive constructive feedback as well as look at multiple source of information to learn differently.

More ideas
  • Use as a culminating activity after students complete digital boards.
  • Adapt for use with other types of student projects (video, audio or written).
  • Adapt for use with multiple sources of information about the same topic.

Try another? Check out or view all.

See these in action: catch up on a recent 'Spotlight on Strategies' webinar .

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