3-2-1 (UK) Teaching Strategy | Facing History & Ourselves
Facing History & Ourselves
Student writes in a notebook in classroom
Teaching Strategy

3-2-1 (UK)

Gauge students’ understanding and interest in a topic by asking them to write down takeaways, questions, and something they enjoyed about a text, film, or lesson.

Language

English — UK
Also available in:
English — US

Published

This resource is intended for educators in the United Kingdom.

Overview

Teaching Strategies

Designed to support History, Citizenship, PSHE, RS and English, this resource offers a variety of classroom strategies to develop critical thinking and communication skills, model democracy in the classroom, and empower students to become active, responsible citizens.

About This Teaching Strategy

A 3-2-1 prompt helps students structure their responses to a text, film, or lesson by asking them to describe three takeaways, two questions, and one thing they enjoyed. It provides an easy way for teachers to check for understanding and to gauge students’ interest in a topic. Sharing 3-2-1 responses is also an effective way to prompt a class discussion or to review material from previous lessons.

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Lesson Plans

Steps for Implementation

After students engage with a text or a lesson, ask them to write the following details in their journals or on separate paper:

  • Three things that they have learned from this lesson or from this text.
  • Two questions that they still have.
  • One aspect of the lesson or the text that they enjoyed.

Use students’ responses to guide teaching decisions. 3-2-1 responses can help you identify areas of the curriculum that you may need to review again or concepts or activities that hold special interest for students.

Variations

You can modify the elements of the 3-2-1 strategy to focus on particular content questions. For example, if the class has just been studying the International Criminal Court, a teacher might have students write down three differences between the ICC and tribunals such as Nuremberg, two similarities between the ICC and these tribunals, and one question they still have.

You could also use the 3-2-1 structure to help students identify the main ideas from supporting information. For example, you could ask students to record three of the most important ideas from the lesson or text, two supporting details for each of these ideas, and one question they have about each of these ideas.

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Facing History & Ourselves is designed for educators who want to help students explore identity, think critically, grow emotionally, act ethically, and participate in civic life. It’s hard work, so we’ve developed some go-to professional learning opportunities to help you along the way.

Using the strategies from Facing History is almost like an awakening.
— Claudia Bautista, Santa Monica, Calif