Skip to main content
A stack of blocks with the number 1, 2, and 3

A stack of blocks with the number 1, 2, and 3 (Source: Jaturonoofer, iStockphoto)

A stack of blocks with the number 1, 2, and 3

A stack of blocks with the number 1, 2, and 3 (Source: Jaturonoofer, iStockphoto)

Format

This strategy helps students summarize and engage with new content.

Why use it?

  • To help focus ideas about a new concept. 
  • To scaffold the skills of summarizing.

Tips for success

  • Use this strategy after students have learned a new concept through a lesson, video, or text. 
  • Ask groups to choose a spokesperson to share some of their ideas back to the whole class. 
  • Consider doing this strategy as a whole class the first time students use it. 

How do I use it?

  • Give each student a 3-2-1 Recording Sheet reproducible. 
  • Direct students to record:
    • 3 facts or things they have learned from the lesson or text, 
    • 2 questions they still have. And;
    • 1 main idea.
  • After 5-8 minutes, students move into small groups. Students share and discuss their ideas using a round-robin process to ensure balanced participation. Students begin by sharing one category. After each group member has shared something in that category, then move on to the categories. 
  • Students share and discuss as a whole class. 

Variations

  • Change the elements of the 3-2-1 strategy to focus on particular content questions. For example, if students are learning about the differences between plant and animal cells, they could record 3 differences, 2 similarities, and 1 question. 
  • Identifying Main Ideas: Students could 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.
  • Students could complete this activity in groups using chart paper.
  • Students could write their facts, questions, and main ideas on sticky notes to post on the white board, chart paper, or a virtual platform like Jamboard.

Using this Strategy

Create Your Own

References

Adapted from: Jones, R. (n.d.). 3-2-1ReadingQuest