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This activity helps structure students’ responses to an activity, a reading or a film. It provides an easy way for teachers to check for understanding and to gauge students’ interest in a topic. Sharing 3-2-1 responses can also be an effective way to prompt a class discussion or to review material from the previous lesson.


Step one: Answering 3-2-1 prompt

After students engage with a text or a lesson, ask them to answer the following questions in their journal or on a separate piece of paper:

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

Step two:  Responding to these prompts

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.


  • Content-specific 3-2-1: You can modify the elements of the 3-2-1 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 3 differences between the ICC and tribunals such as Nuremberg, 2 similarities between the ICC and tribunals, and 1 question you still have.
  • Identifying main ideas 3-2-1: You could also use the 3-2-1 structure to help students identify main ideas from supporting information. For example, you could ask students to record 3 of the most important ideas from the lesson or text, 2 supporting details for each of these ideas and 1 question they have about each of these ideas.

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